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MILTON 

AREOPAGITICA 
JOHN W. HALES 



MILTON 

AREOPAGITICA 



EDITED 



WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES 



BY 



JOHN W. HALES, M.A. 

Professor of Enslish Language and Literature at icing's College, LovUo>ti\ ' / 

Formerly Fellow and Assistant Tutor of Christ s College, Cambridge ; 

Harnsttr-at-Law of Lincoln's Inn ; Editor of ' Longer Knglish Poems ': 

Co-Editor of the * London Series of English Classics', &-c. 



\,-. 

c 




OXFORD 
AT THE CLARENDON PRESS 



657 



Ocf. 



X 



OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 

AMEN HOUSE, E.C. 4 

LONDON EDINBURGH GLASGOW 

LEIPZIG NEWYORK TORONTO 

MELBOURNE CAPETOWN BOMBAY 

CALCUTTA MADRAS SHANGHAI 

HUMPHREY MILFORD 

PUBLISHER TO THE 
UNIVERSITY 



Impression of 1932 
First edition, 187 S 

Printed in Great Britain 



INTRODUCTION. 



SECTION I. THE YEAR (1644). 

Of the circumstances under which the Areopagitica was 
written, Milton has himself given an account in his Second 
Defence of the People of England (Defensio Secunda pro Populo 
Anglicajio contra infamem libelluin ajionynmin cui titulus Regii 
Sanguinis Clafjior ad Ccelum adversiis Parricidas Anglicanos). 
In that work, to refute fully the calumnies heaped on his name 
by his enemy, he gives a rapid sketch of his past life. After 
speaking of his earlier days, he mentions his travels abroad, and 
then how, coming home, he was drawn into the great struggle 
that he found prevailing, or beginning to prevail. 

* Then pursuing my former route through France I returned 
to my native country, after an absence of one year and about 
three months, at the time when Charles, having broken the 
peace, was renewing what Js called the episcopal war with the 
Scots, in which the Royalists being routed in the first encounter, 
and the English being universally and justly disaffected, the 
necessity of his affairs at last obliged him to convene a parlia- 
ment. As soon as I was able I hired a spacious house in the 
city, for myself and my books ; where I again, with rapture, 
resumed my literary pursuits, and where I calmly awaited the 
issue of the contest, which I trusted to the wise conduct of 
Providence, and to the courage of the people. The vigour of 
the Parliament had begun to humble the pride of the bishops. 
As long as the liberty of speech was no longer subject to con- 
trol, all mouths began to be opened against the bishops. They 
said that it was unjust that they alone should differ from the 
model of other Reformed Churches ; that the government of J 
the Church should be according to the pattern of other churches, | 
and particularly the word of God. This awakened all my at- ; 
tention and my zeal. I saw that a way was opening for the 
establishment of real liberty; that the foundation was laying 
for the deliverance of man from the yoke of slavery and super- 
stition ; that the principles of religion, which were the first 



vi INTRODUCTION. 

objects of our care, would exert a salutary influence on the 
manners and constitution of the republic. And as I had from 
my youth studied the distinctions between religious and civil 
rights, 1 perceived that, if ever I wished to be of use, I ought at 
least not to be wanting to my country, to the Church, and to so 
many of my fellow-Christians, in a crisis of so much danger. I 
therefore determined to relinquish the other pursuits in which 
I was engaged, and to transfer the whole force of my talents and 
my industry to this one important object. I accordingly wrote 
two books to a friend concerning the Reformation of the Church 
of England. Afterwards when two bishops of superior dis- 
tinction vindicated their privileges against some principal 
ministers, I thought that on those topics, to the consideration 
of which I was led solely by my love of truth and my reverence 
for Christianity, I should not probably write worse than those 
who were contending only for their own emoluments and usurp- 
ations. I therefore answered the one in two books, of which 
the first is inscribed ' Concerning Prelatical Episcopacy,' and 
the other 'Concerning the Mode of Ecclesiastical Government' ; 
and I replied to the other in some animadversions, and soon 
after in an apology. On this occasion it was supposed that I 
brought a timely succour to the ministers, who were hardly a 
match for the eloquence of their opponents, and from that time 
I was actively employed in refuting any answers that appeared. 
When the bishops could no longer resist the multitude of their 
assailants, I had leisure to turn my thoughts to other subjects ; 
to the promotion of real and substantial liberty, which is rather 
to be sought from within than from without ; and whose 
existence depends, not so much on the terror of the sword 
as on sobriety of conduct and integrity of life. When, therefore, 
I perceived that there were thr ee species of liberty which are 
essential to the happiness oX&Qcial life-^iellgious, domestic, and 
civil ; and as I had ah-eady written concerning the first, and the 
magistrates were strenuously active in obtaining the third, I 
determined to turn my attention to the second, or the domestic 
species. As they seemed to involve three material questions — 
the conditions of the conjugal tie, the education of children, and 
the free publications of the thoughts — I made them objects of 
distinct consideration. I explained my sentiments, not only 
concerning the solemnization of matrimony, but the dissolution, 
if circumstances rendered it necessary, and I drew my argu- 
ments from the divine law, which Christ did not abolish, or 
publish another more grievous than that of Moses. I stated 
my own opinions, and those of others, concerning the exclusive 
exception of fornication, which our illustrious Selden has since, 



INTRODUCTION. . . vii 

in his " Hebrew Wife," more copiously discussed ; for he, in 
vain, makes a vaunt of liberty in the senate, or in the forum, 
who languishes under the vilest servitude to an inferior at 
home. On this subject, therefore, I published some books, 
which were more particularly necessary at that time, when man 
and wife were often the most inveterate foes ; when the man 
often staid to take care of his children at home, while the 
mother of the family was seen in the camp of the enemy, 
threatening death and destruction to her husband. I then dis- 
cussed the principles of education in a summary manner, but 
sufficiently copious for those who attend seriously to the subject, 
than which nothing can be more necessary to principle the 
minds of men in virtue, the only genuine source of political and 
individual liberty, the only true safeguard of states, the bulwark 
of their prosperity and renown. Lastly, I wrote my " Areopa- / 
gitica" after the true Attic style, in order to deHver the press / / 
from the restraints with which it was encumbered ; that the ' 
power of determining what was true and what was false, what 
ought to be published and what to be Suppressed, might no 
longer be entrusted to a few illiterate and illiberal individuals, 
who refused their sanction to any work which contained views 
or sentiments at all above the level of the vulgar superstition. 
On the last species of civil liberty I said nothing, because I saw 
that sufficient attention was paid to it by the magistrates ; nor 
did I write anything on the prerogative of the Crown till the \ 
King, voted an enemy by the parliament, and vanquished in 
the field, was summoned before the tribunal which condemned 
him to lose his head\' 

Such is the account Milton himself gives of his writings just 
before the outbreak of the Civil War and during the continuance 
of it. The order of them is not indeed minutely accurate ; for 
the ' some books ' on the subject of divorce were not all pub- 
lished before he proceeded to the questions of Education and 
Unlicensed Printing ; but it probably represents precisely 
enough the succession in which the various subjects discussed 
engaged his attention. The year of his life that especially 
concerns us here is 1644. It was in the November of that 
year that the Areopagitica was published. Besides this master- 
piece, there appeared also these other works : — In February, a 
second edition of his first Divorce treatise (The Doctrine and 

* See Milton's Prose Works, the odc-volume edition, pp. 934, 935. For 
the original Latin, see ibid. pp. 719, 720. 



viii- INTRODUCTIOISr, 

Discipline of Divorce restored to the good of both sexes from 
the bondage of Canon Law and other Mistakes to the true 
meaning of Scripture in the Law and Gospel compared, where- 
in also are set down the bad consequences of abolishing or 
condemning as sin that which the law of God allows and 
Christ abolished not) ; in June, his tractate Of Education to 
Master Samuel Hartlib ; in July, his Second Divorce Book 
(The Judgment of Martin Bucer concerning Divorce, written 
to Edward the Sixth in his second book of the Kingdom of 
Christ, and now Englished ; wherein a late book restoring the 
Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce is here confirmed and 
justified by the authority of Martin Bucer). So that the year 
1644 was one of memorable activity in Milton's life. 

This activity, it will have been noticed, was all in the direc- 
tion of certain social and other reforms. It was all, as Milton 
himself puts it, in bebalf of ' liberty ' — of the ' domestic species ' 
of ' liberty.' * Liberty's defence ' was always his ' noble task ' ; 
and there was never a time in his career when he strove with 
more fervent hope, or more brilliant skill, to secure for his age 
the freedom without which, as it seemed to him, life was 
cramped and starved, and the world a mere prison. In the 
interest of this great cause he had abandoned for a while those 
high studies to which his previous years had been devoted. Of 

is poetical writings only a few sonnets belong to this period 
3f his life. ' God, by His secretary Conscience,' enjoined a far 
iifferent ' service,' and ' it were sad for me if I should draw 
jack.' 

JThis particular year formed a crijis in Milton's life. It wit- 
nessed the culmination of his hopefulness. • There is especially 
noticeable in the Areopagitica a certam sanguineness and an- 
ticipation, which subsequent events were bitterly to reprove. 
In fact Milton was yet but faintly conscious of the immense 
discrepancies between his age and himself. To him, when the 
Long Parliament met in the autumn of 1640, it had seemed 
that a new day was dawning for England and for mankind. 

* The world's great age begins anew, 
The golden years return.* 

And he had hailed with a profound exultation the opening acts 



/ 

' INTRODUCTION. - ix 

ot that great assembly. When the Star Chamber and its 
kindred iniquities were suppressed, it seemed once more 
possible to breathe, and hopes sprang up in him of a new 
and perfecter reformation. This confidence appeared justified 
by the fall of the bishops, who had identified themselves with 
what was held to be the cause of tyranny. Surely there was 
now at hand a splendid regeneration. As one thinks of Milton 
in those hours of elation, there rises before the mind the image 
of another poet, whose experience was strangely similar. Words- 
worth, on the tiptoe of expectation at the beginning of the 
French Revolution, reminds one sadly of Milton just a century 
and a half before. 

• Oh ! pleasant exercise of hope and joy. 
For m'ghty were the auxiliars which then stood 
Upon our side, we who were strong in love 1 
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, 
But to be young was very heaven 1 Oh ! times 
In which the meagre, stale, forbidden ways 
Of custom, law, and statute took at once 
The attraction of a country in romance I 
When Reason seemed the most to assert her rights. 
When most intent on making of herself 
A prime Enchantress — to assist the work 
Which then was going forward in her name.' 

The Areopagitica reflects Milton still sanguine and confident. 
It is true that, as we shall see, the work in fact originated from 
what might well have taught the writer that his dreams of a 
complete emancipation were not to be realised ; but Milton 
could not recognise this conclusion, so 'lame and impotent.' 
He could not yet bring himself to believe that the dawn, whose 
rising he had greeted with such joy, was presently to be over- 
cast — that the sun was not to rise higher, but to be stayed in its 
bright course, as by some malignant Joshua, and presently 
blurred and obscured with mist and fog. As we see him in 
this Speech to the Parliament of England he is filled with pride 
and with hope. No nobler panegyric has been pronounced on 
our country than that he here pronounces with his richest 
eloquence : — 

' Lords and Commons of England, consider what Nation it is 
wherof ye are the governours : a Nation not slow and dull, but 



t 



X INTRODUCTION. 

of a quick, ingenious, and piercing spirit, acute to invent, subtle 
and sinewy to discours, not beneath the reach of any point the 
highest that human capacity can soar to. Therefore the studies 
of learning, in her deepest sciences, have bin so ancient and 
so eminent among us that writers of good antiquity and ablest 
judgement have bin perswaded that ev'n the school of Py- 
thagoras, and the Persian wisdom, took beginning from the old 
Philosophy of this Hand. And that wise and civill Roman Julius 
Agricola, who govem'd once here for Caesar, preferr'd the 
naturall wits of Britain before the labour'd studies of the French. 
Nor is for nothing that the grave and frugal Transilvanian sends 
out yearly from as farre as the mountanous borders of Russia, 
and beyond the Hercynian wildernes, not their youth, but their 
stay'd men, to learn our language and our theologic arts. Yet 
that which is above all this, the favour and the love of heav'n, 
we have great argument to think in a peculiar manner propitious 
and propending towards us. Why else was this Nation chos'n 
before any other that out of her, as out of Sion, should be 
proclaim'd and sounded forth the first tidings and trumpet of 
Reformation to all Europ ? . . . . Behold now this vast city ; 
a city of refuge, the mansion house of liberty, encompast and 
surrounded with his protection ; the shop of warre hath not there 
more anvils and hammers making, to fashion out the plates and 
instruments of armed Justice, in defence of beleaguer'd Truth, 
than there be pens and heads there, sitting by their studious 
camps, musing, searching, revolving new notions and idea's 
wherewith to present, as with their homage and their fealty, the 
approaching Reformation ; others as fast reading, trying all 
things, assenting to the force of reason and convincement. 
What could a man require more from a Nation so pliant and 
so prone to seek after knowledge t What wants there to such 
a towardly and pregnant soile, but wise and faithfull labourers, 
to make a knowing people — a Nation of Prophets, of Sages, and 
of Worthies ?' 

It must be remembered that in this year, 1644, the Par- 
liamentary cause had achieved triumphs that left little room for 
doubt as to what would be the issue of the war. The Scots had 
entered England in January. In the summer the Earl of Essex 
had advanced westward into Cornwall. July had brought the 
utter defeat of Prince Rupert at Marston Moor. A gleam of 
light was, it is true, thrown on the Royal banner by the rising of 
Montrose, in the autumn ; and in England the King's side had 
not been without its successes, of which the most important was 



INTRODUCTION. - XI 

the dispersion of Essex's army in September ; but, on the whole, 
the Parliament had gained strength and confidence, and the 
fortune of their opponents was becoming highly dubious, if not 
quite desperate. In the very November in which the Areopa- 
giiica was published the * New Model ' of the army was pro- 
posed, for there were arising into note men resolved to prose- 
cute the war with a dispatch and an energy not yet conceived. 
Clearly Milton was troubled by no misgivings as to the event 
of this military conflict. His mind had passed away from it 
into other fields, and he thought himself at leisure to open a 
spiritual campaign. 

In strange contrast with the buoyancy and pride of the 
Aregpagitica is the tone^oTcertarnTater writings. Th5_iiigh 
expectations he had cherished were to be disappointed. It was 
to be his sad lot to discover that the overthrowefs of tyranny 
might themselves prove tyrants. 

' New foes arise ' 

Threatening to bind our souls with secular chains.' 

The Presbyterians were presently to display an intolerance not 
exceeded by the Episcopalians whom they had displaced : 

'New presbyter is but old priest writ large.* 
And it was to prove impossible to reconstruct a new political 
order which should be not dependent on the strength and 
wisdom of a great dictator, and so tottering to its fall the instant 
he was removed, but, in itself, strong, and stable, and enduring. 
The age was to be found unequal to the maintenance, or rather 
the attainment, of the ideal entertained by Milton's lofty spirit. 
* Bondage with ease' was to be dearer than ' strenuous liberty.' 
One jnay easily believe thit Milton expected too much ; that 
he misinterpreted the signs of the times ; that he too readily 
supposed others to be actuated by the same high-minde4ness 
and pure enthusiasm that moved himself ; but the discovery of 
his misapprehensions must have been none the less afflicting ; 
and with a lesser nature would have ended in mere disgust 
and contempt for his race. As it was, though some bitter words 
escaped him, he did not argue 

* Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot 
Of heart or hope ; but still ' bore up and steered 
• Right onward;* 



xii INTR OD UCTION. 

He was not left comfortless. 

* Thou hast great allies ; 
Thy friends are exultations, agonies, 

And love, and man's unconquerable mind.* 

And the difference just mentioned between his earlier and his 
later political writings appears not in any growing predominance 
of scorn and of satire, but in a certain enforced sobriety of 
expectation. He is prepared for the worst rather than sanguine 
of the best. If we remember what his dreams had been, and 
what were the realities he saw, there is a profound ^pathos in 
these following words of his, uttered just before the Restoration. 
When he wrote them, he, like his Samson, was not * in the list 
of them that hope ' ; but, when he wrote the Areopagitica^ he 
felt himself called to be a ' great deliverer,' Heaven's ' nursling 
and choice delight,' led on 

* To mightiest deeds 
Above the nerve of mortal arm. 
Against the Unciicumcised, our enemies,* 

The passage now to be quoted forms the conclusion of * The 
Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth, and 
the excellence thereof, compared with the inconveniences and 
dangers of readmitting Kingship in this Nation,' published in 
1660 :— 

* I have no more to say at present ; few words will save us, well 
considered ; few and easy things now seasonably done. But if 
the people be so affected as to prostitute religion and liberty to 
the vain and groundless apprehension that nothing but kingship 
can restore trade, not remembering the frequent plagues and 
pestilences that then wasted this city, such as, through God's 
mercy, we never have felt since ; and that trade flourishes no- 
where more than in the free commonwealths of Italy, Germany, 
and the Low Countries, before their eyes at this day ; yet if trade 
be grown so craving and importunate, through the profuse living 
of tradesmen, that nothing can support it but the luxurious ex- 
penses of a nation upon trifles or superfluities ; so as if the people 
generally should betake themselves to frugality it might prove 
a dangerous matter, lest tradesmen should mutiny for want of 
trading ; and that, therefore, we must forego and set to sale re- 
ligion, liberty, honour, safety, all concernments divine or human, 
to keep up trading ; if, lastly, after all this light among us the 



INTRODUCTION. , viii 

same reason shall pass for current to put our necks again 
under kingship, as was made use of by the Jews to return 
back to Egypt, and to the worship of their idol queen, 
because they falsely imagined that they then lived in more 
plenty and prosperity ; our condition is not sound but rotten, 
both in religion and all civil prudence; and will bring us 
soon the way we are marching to those calamities which 
attend always and unavoidably on luxury, all national judg- 
ments under foreign and domestic slavery, so far we shall 
be from mending our condition by monarchising our govern- 
ment whatever new conceit now possesses us. However, with 
all hazard, I have ventured what I thought my duty to speak 
in season, and to forewarn my country in time ; wherein I 
doubt not but there be many wise in all places and degrees, 
but am sorry the effects of wisdom are so little seen among us. 
Many circumstances and particulars I could have added in 
those things whereof I have spoken, but a few main matters 
now put speedily in execution will suffice to recover us and set 
all right ; and there will want at no time who are good at 
circumstances, but men who set their minds on main matters, 
and sufficiently urge them in these most difficult times, I find 
not many. What I have spoken is the language of that which 
is not called amiss " The Good old Cause" ; if it seem strange 
to any, it will not seem more strange, I hope, than convincing to 
backsliders. Thus much I should perhaps have said, though 1 
were sure I should have spoken only to trees and stones ; and 
had none to cry to but with the prophet "O earth, earth, earth !" 
to tell the very soil itself what her perverse inhabitants are deaf 
to. Nay, though what I have spoke should happen (which thou 
suffer not, who did'st create mankind free ! Nor thou next, who 
did'st redeem us from being servants of men,) to be the last 
words of our expiring liberty. But I trust I shall have spoken 
persuasion to abundance of sensible and ingenuous men ; to 
some, perhaps, whom God may raise from these stones to be- 
come children of reviving liberty ; and may reclaim though they 
seem now choosing them a captain back for Egypt, to bethink 
themselves a little, and consider whither they are rushing ; to 
exhort this torrent also of the people not to be so impetuous, 
but to keep their due channel, and at length recovering and 
uniting their better resolutions, now that they see already how 
open and unbounded the insolence and rage is of our common 
enemies, to stay these ruinous proceedings, justly and timely 
fearing to what a precipice of destruction the deluge of this 
epidemic madness would hurry us, through the general defection 
of a misguided and abused multitude.' (Works, pp. 451-2.) 



xiv INTRODUCTIOiV, 



SECTION II. THE SUBJECT. 

And yet Milton's own experience might well have made him 
mistrustful of his conceptions of the future. The attempt made 
to reimpose restrictions upon the freedom of expressed thought, 
against which he raises his voice in the Areopagitica with so 
noble a vehemence, so that it will still be heard to the very end 
of time, was only too significant of the temper and tendencies 
of the Presbyterian rule that then lay upon his country. From 
the meeting of the Long Parliament in November, 1640, to 
June, 1643, the Press had been practically free\ Even the 
custom of registering publications in the books of the Stationers' 
Company had been widely neglected. On June 14, 1643, the 
following Ordinance was ordered by the Lords and Commons 
assembled in Parliament : — 

* An Order of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parlia- 
ment, for the Regulating of Printing, and for suppressing the 
great late abuses and frequent disorders in Printing many false. 
Scandalous, Seditious, Libellous, and unlicensed Pamphlets, to 
the great defamation of Religion and Government. 

'Also, authorizing the Masters & Wardens of the Company 
of Stationers to make diligent search, seize and carry away all 
such Books as they shall finde Printed, or reprinted by any 
-man having no lawfuU interest in them, being entred into the 
Hall Book to any other man as his proper Copies. 

' Die Mercurii. 14 June. 1643. — Ordered by the Lords and 
Commons assembled in Parliament that this Order shall be 
fortlnuith printed and published. — ^J. Brown Cler. Parliamen- 
torum : Hen. Elsing Cler. De Com 2. 

^ Die Merairii, 14 Junii. 1643. 

* Whereas divers good Orders have bin lately made by both 
Houses of Parliament, for suppressing the great late abuses and 
frequent disorders in Printing many false, forged, scandalous, 
seditious, libellous, and unlicensed Papers, Pamphlets, and 
Books to the great defamation of Religion and government. 
Which orders (notwithstanding the diligence of the Company 
of Stationers, to put them in full execution) having taken little 

^ See Masson's Life of John Milton and History of his Time, iii. 265 
et .s*y. 

2 'LONDON, Printed for /. Wright in the Old-baily, lune 16. i6j5.' 
Sec Arbcr's Areopagitica, op. 25-8. 



INTRODUCTION. xv 

or no effect : By reason the bill in preparation, for redresse of 
the said disorders, hath hitherto bin retarded through the pre- 
sent distractions, and very many, as well Stationers and Printers^ 
as others of sundry other professions not free of the Statio7iers 
Company, have taken upon them to set up sundry private Print- 
ing Presses in corners, and to print, vend, publish and disperse 
Books, pamphlets and papers, in such multitudes, that no in- 
dustry could be sufficient to discover or bring to punishment, all 
the severall abounding delinquents : And by reason that divers 
of the Statione7-s Company and others being Delinquents (con- 
trary to former orders and the constant custome used among 
the said Company) have taken liberty to Print, Vend and pub- 
lish, the most profitable vendible Copies of Books, belonging to 
the Company and other Stationers, especially of such Agents 
as are imployed in putting the said Orders in Execution, and 
that by way of revenge for giveing information against them to 
the Houses for their Delinquences in Printing, to the great 
prejudice of the said Company of Stationers and Agents, and 
to their discouragement in this publik service. 

Mt is therefore Ordered by the Lords and Commons in Par- 
liament, That no Order or Declaration of both, or either House 
of Parliament shall be printed by any, but by order of one or 
both the said Houses : Nor other Book, Pamphlet, paper, nor 
part of any such Book, Pamphlet, or paper, shall from hence- 
forth be printed, bound, stitched or put to sale by any person 
or persons whatsoever, unlesse the same be first approved of 
and licensed under the hands of such person or persons as 
both, or either of the said Houses shall appoint for the licensing/ 
of the same, and entred in the Register Book of the Company' 
of Stationers, according to Ancient custom, and the Printer 
thereof to put his name thereto. And that no person or persons 
shall hereafter print, or cause to be reprinted any Book, or 
Books or part of Book, or Books heretofore allowed of and 
granted to the said Company of Stationers for their relief and 
maintenance of their poore, without the licence or consent of 
the Master, Wardens, and Assistants of the said Company; 
Nor any Book or Books lawfully licenced and entred in the 
Register of the said Company for any particular member 
thereof, without the licence and consent of the owner pr owners 
thereof. Nor yet import any such Book or Books, or part of 
Book or Books formerly Printed here, from beyond the Seas, 
upon paine of forfeiting the same to the Owner, or Owners of 
the Copies of the said Books, and such further punishment as 
shall he thoueht fit. 



xvi INTRODUCTION. 

'And the Master and Wardens of the said Company, the 
Gentleman Usher of the House of Peers, the Sergeant of the 
Commons House and their deputies, together with the persons 
formerly appointed by the Committee of the House of Commons 
for Examinations, are hereby Authorized and required, from 
time to time, to make diligent search in all places, where they 
shall think meete, for all unlicensed Printing Presses, and all 
Presses any way imployed in the printing of scandalous or un- 
licensed Papers, Pamphlets, Books, or any Copies of Books 
belonging to the said Company, or any member thereof, without 
their approbation and consents, and to seize and carry away 
such Printing Presses, Letters, together with the Nut, Spindle, 
and other materialls of every such irregular Printer, which they 
find so misimployed, unto the Common Hall of the said Com- 
pany, there to be defaced and made unserviceable according to 
Ancient Custom ; And likewise to make diligent search in all 
suspected Printing-houses, Ware-houses, Shops and other places 
for such scandalous and unlicensed Books, papers, Pamphlets, 
and all other Books, not entred, nor signed with the Printers 
name as aforesaid, being printed, or reprinted by such as have 
no lawfull interest in them, or any way contrary to this Order, 
and the same to seize and carry away to the said common hall, 
there to remain till both or either House of Parliament shall 
dispose thereof, And likewise to apprehend all Authors, Printers, 
and other persons whatsoever imployed in compiling, printing, 
stitching, binding, publishing and dispersing of the said scan- 
dalous, unlicensed, and unwarrantable papers, books and 
pamphlets as aforesaid, and all those who shall resist the said 
Parties in searching after them, and to bring them afore either 
of the Houses or the Committee of Examinations, that so they 
may receive such further punishments, as their Offences shall 
demerit, and not to be released untill they have given satis- 
faction to the Parties imployed in their apprehension for their 
paines and charges, and given sufficient caution not to offend 
in like sort for the future. And all Justices of the Peace, Cap- 
taines. Constables and other officers, are hereby ordered and 
required to be aiding, and assisting to the foresaid persons in 
the due execution of all, and singular the premisses and in the 
apprehension of all Offenders against the same. And in case 
of opposition to break open Doores and Locks. 

'And it is further ordered, that this Order be forthwith 
Printed and Published, to the end that notice may be taken 
thereof, and all Contemners of it left inexcusable. 

* Finis.' 



INTRODUCTION, xvii 

For some account of the previous history of Book-censorship 
the reader may be referred to the Areopagitica itself, where, 
in the opening part of his argument, Milton rapidly surveys the 
conduct of other countries and times in this respect \ It is clear 
that books enjoyed an immunity from restriction in the Middle 
Ages, only because they were held to be of comparatively slight 
account. As soon as ever their influence began to extend, and the 
printing press to multiply copies without limit, so soon were they 
regarded with jealous eyes and threatened with a rigorous super- 
vision. From the close of the fifteenth century a formal cen- 
sorship became a more and more common institution. 

* The oldest mandate, for appointing a book-censor,' says Beck- 
mann, * is, as far as I know at present, that issued by Berthold, 
Archbishop of Mentz, in the year i486, and which may be found 
in the fourth volume of Guden's Codex Diplomaticus. In the 
year 1501, Pope Alexander VI. published a bull, the first part of 
which may form an excellent companion to the mandate of the 
Archbishop of Mentz. After some complaints against the devil, 
who sows tares among the wheat, his holiness proceeds thus : — 
" Having been informed that,bymeans of the said art,manybooks 
and treatises containing various errors and pernicious doctrines, 
even hostile to the holy Christian religion, have been printed, 
and are still printed in various parts of the world, particularly in 
the provinces of Cologne, Mentz, Trier, and Magdeburg : and 
being desirous, without further delay, to put a stop to this de- 
testable evil, . . . we, by these presents, and by authority of the 
Apostolic Chamber, strictly forbid all printers, their servants, 
and those exercising the art of printing under them, in any 
manner whatsoever, in the abovesaid provinces, under pain of 
excommunication, and a pecuniary fine, to be imposed and ex- 
acted by our venerable brethren the Archbishops of Cologne, 
Mentz, Trier, and Magdeburg, and their vicars-general or official 
in spirituals, according to the pleasure of each in his own pro- 
vince, to print hereafter any books, treatises, or writings, until 
they have consulted on this subject the archbishops, vicars, or 
officials above-mentioned, and obtained their special and express 

* See also Standard Library Cyclop, s, v. Press Censorship ; Beckmann's 
Hist, of Inventions, on Book Censors, and on Exclusive Privilege for Printing 
Books (ii. 512-522, of the 4ih Engl, edit.); Knight's London, vol. 5, The 
Old London Booksellers ; Hart's Index Expurgatorius Anglicanus, Parts i and 
ii ; Hallam's Constitut. Hist, of Engl, passim ; D'lsraeli's Curiosities of Liter- 
ature, on Licensers of the Press; Hunt's Fourth Estate, 1850; Buckle's Hist. 
of Civilization in England, 8cc. 

b 



xviii INTRODUCTION. 

licence, to be granted free of all expense, whose consciences 
we charge, that before they grant any licence of this kind, they 
will carefully examine, or cause to be examined, by able and 
catholic persons, the works to be printed ; and that they will 
take the utmost care that nothing may be printed wicked or 
scandalous, or contrary to the orthodox faith." The rest of the 
bull contains regulations to prevent works already printed from 
doing mischief. All catalogues and books printed before that 
period were to be examined, and those which contained any- 
thing prejudicial to the Catholic religion were to be burned. 
In the beginning of the sixteenth century it was ordered by the 
well-known Council of the Lateran, held at Rome in the year 
1 5 1 5, that, in future, no books should be printed but such as had 
been inspected by ecclesiastical censors. In France, the faculty 
of Theology usurped, as some say, the right of censuring books ; 
but in the year 1650, when public censors, whom the faculty 
opposed, were appointed, without their consent, they stated the 
antiquity of their right to be two hundred years. For they said, 
" It is above two hundred years since the doctors of Paris have 
had a right to approve books without being subjected but to their 
own faculty, to which they assert they are alone responsible for 
their decisions." ' 

In countries where the Inquisition was established the work 
of the censorship was undertaken by the Holy Office. Else- 
where it was taken up by the bishops. In England it was 
i especially discharged by the Star Chamber, a Court that was 
in fact, whatever the theoretic constitution, mainly in the hands 
of the bishops \ Long before Archbishop Laud's time this Court 
had exercised authority over the Press (as, for example, at Whit- 
gift's instance in 1585) ; but it was under him that its restrictive 
{.power was put forth in its severest form. On the nth day of 
July, 1637, was passed the notorious ' Decree of Starre-Chamber 
Concerning Printing.' This document may be found entire in 
Mr. Arber's Reprint of the Areopagitica. We quote here only 
the more relevant of its thirty-three clauses. 

* In Camera Stellata coram Concilio ibidem, vndecimo die 

lulii. Anno deciino tertio Caroli Regis. 

* Impri7nis^ That no person or persons whatsoeuer shall pre- 
sume to print, or cause to bee printed, either in the parts beyond 
the Seas, or in this Realme, or other his Maiesties Dominions, 

* See Gardiner's Personal Government of Charles I, i. 161. 



INTRODUCTION. XIX 

any seditious, scismaticall, or offensive Bookes or Pamphlets, to 
the scandall of ReHgion, or the Church, or the Government, or 
Govemours of the Church or State, or Commonwealth, or of any 
Corporation, or particular person or persons whatsoeuer, nor 
shall import any such Booke or Bookes, nor sell or dispose of 
them, or any of them, nor cause any such to be bound, stitched, 
or sowed, vpon paine that he or they so offending, shall loose all 
such Bookes and Pamphlets, and also haue, and suffer such cor- 
rection, and severe punishment, either by Fine, imprisonment, ot 
other corporal! punishment, or otherwise, as by this Court, or by 
His Maiesties Commissioners for causes Ecclesiasticall in the high 
Commission Court, respectiuely, as the several causes shall re- 
quire, shall be thought fit to be inflicted upon him, or them, for 
such their offence and contempt. 

*II. Iton^ That no person or persons whatsoeuer, shall at any 
time print, or cause to be imprinted, any Booke or Pamphlet 
whatsoever vnlesse the same Booke or Pamphlet, and also all and 
euery the Titles, Epistles, Prefaces, Proems, Preambles, Intro- 
ductions, Tables, Dedications, and other matters and things 
whatsoeuer thereunto annexed, or therewith imprinted, shall be 
first lawfully licenced and authorized onely by such person and 
persons as are hereafter expressed, and by no other, and shall be 
also first entred into the Registers Booke of the Company of 
Stationers ; vpon paine that every Printer offending therein, shall 
be for euer hereafter disabled to use or exercise the Art or 
Mysterie of Printing, and receiue such further punishment, as by 
this Court or the high Commission Court respectiuely, as the 
severall causes shall require, shall be thought fitting. 

* III. //(?;;?, That all Bookes concerning the common Lawes of 
this Realme shall be printed by the especiall allowance of the 
Lords chiefe lustices, and the Lord chiefe Baron for the time 
being, or one or more of them, or by their appointment : And 
that all Books of History, belonging to this State, and present 
times, or any other Booke of State affaires, shall be licenced 
by the principall Secretaries of State, or one of them, or by their 
appointment ; And that all Bookes concerning Heraldry, Titles of 
Honour and Armes, or otherwise concerning the Office of Earle 
Marshall, shall be licenced by the Earle Marshall, or by his ap- 
pointment ; And further, that all other Books, whether of Diuinitie, 
Phisicke, Philosophic, Poetry, or whatsoeuer, shall be allowed by 
the Lord Arch-Bishop of Canterbury^ or Bishop of London for the 
time being, or by their appointment, or the Chancellours, or Vice 
Chancellors of either of the Vniuersities of this Realme for the 
time being. 

* Alwayes prouided, that the Chancellour or Vice-Chancellour, 

ba 



XX INTRODUCTION. 

of either of the Vniuersities, shall Licence onely such Booke or 
Bookes that are to be Printed within the limits of the Vniuersities 
respectiuely, but not in London^ or elsewhere, not medling either 
with Bookes of the common Law, or matters of State. 

*IV. Item^ That euery person and persons, which by any 
Decree of this Court are, or shall be appointed or authorized to 
Licence Bookes, or giue Warrant for imprinting thereof, as is 
aforesaid, shall haue two seuerall written Copies of the same 
Booke or Bookes with the Titles, Epistles, Prefaces, Proems, 
Preambles, Introductions, Tables, Dedications, and other things 
whatsoeuer thereunto annexed. One of which said Copies shall 
be kept in the publike Registries of the said Lord Arch-Bishop, 
and Bishop of London respectiuely, or in the Office of the Chan- 
cellour, or Vice-Chancellour of either of the Vniuersities, or with 
the Earle Marshall or principall Secretaries of State, or with the 
Lords chiefe Justices, or chiefs Baron, of all such Bookes as shall 
be licenced by them respectiuely, to the end that he or they may 
be secure, that the Copy so licensed by him or them shall not bee 
altered without his or their priuitie, and the other shall remain 
with him whose Copy it is, and vpon both the said Copies, he or 
they that shall allow the said Booke, shall testifie vnder his or 
their hand or hands, that there is nothing in that Booke or Books 
contained, that is contrary' to Christian Faith, and the Doctrine 
and Discipline of the Church oi England, nor against the State or 
Gouernment, nor contrary to good life, or good manners, or 
otherwise, as the nature and subiect of the work shall require, 
which licence or approbation shall be imprinted in the beginning 
of the same Booke, with the name, or names of him or them that 
shall authorize or license the same, for a testimonie of the allow- 
ance thereof 

* VIL Ite?n, That no person or persons shall within this King- 
dome, or elsewhere imprint, or cause to be imprinted, nor shall 
import or bring in, or cause to be imported or brought into this 
Kingdome, from, or out of any other His Maiesties Dominions, 
nor from other, or any parts beyond the Seas, any Copy, book or 
books, or part of any booke or bookes, printed beyond the 
seas, or elsewhere, which the said Company of Stationers, or any 
other person or persons haue, or shall by any Letters Patents, 
Order, or Entrance in their Register book, or otherwise, haue the 
right, priuiledge, authoritie, or allowance soly to print, nor shall 
bind, stitch, or put to sale, any such booke or bookes, vpon paine 
of losse and forfeiture of all the said bookes, and of such Fine, or 
other punishment, for euery booke or part of a booke so im- 
printed or imported, bound, stitched, or put to sale, to be leuyed 
of the party so offending, as by the power of this Court, or the 



INTRODUCTION. , XXI 

high Commission Court respectiuely, as the severall causes shall 
require, shall be thought fit. 

'VIII. //<?;«, Euery person and persons that shall hereafter 
Print, or cause to be Printed, any Bookes, Ballads, Charts, Por- 
traiture, or any other thing or things whatsoeuer, shall thereunto 
or thereon Print and set his and their owne name or names, as 
also the name or names of the Author or Authors, Maker or 
Makers of the same, and by, or from whom any such booke, 
or other thing is, or shall be printed, vpon pain of forfiture of all 
such Books, Ballads, Chartes, Portraitures, and other thing or 
things, printed contrary to this Article ; And the presses. Let- 
ters and other instruments for Printing, wherewith such Books, 
ballads, Chartes, Portraitures, and other thing or things shall be 
printed, to be defaced and made vnseruiceable, and the party and 
parties so offending, to be fined, imprisoned, and haue such other 
corporall punishment, or otherwise, as by this Honourable Court, 
or the said high Commission respectiuely, as the seuerall causes 
shall require, shall be thought fit. 

'XII. Item^ That no stranger or forreigner whatsoeuer, be 
suffered to bring in, or vent here, any booke or bookes printed 
beyond the seas, in any language whatsoeuer, either by themselues 
or their secret Factors, except such onely as bee free Stationers of 
London^ and such as haue beene brought vp in that profession, 
and haue their whole meanes of subsistance, and liuelihood de- 
pending thereupon, vpon paine of confiscation of all such Books 
so imported, and such further penalties, as by this Court, or the 
high Commission Court respectiuely, as the seuerall causes shall 
require, shall be thought fit to be imposed. 

'XIII. Item^ That no person or persons within the Citie of 
London, or the liberties thereof, or elsewhere, shall erect or cause 
to be erected any Presse or Printing-house, nor shall demise, or 
let, or suffer to be held or vsed, any house, vault, seller, or other 
roome whatsoeuer, to, or by any person or persons, for a Printing- 
house, or place to print in, vnlesse he or they which shall so 
demise or let the same, or suffer the same to be so vsed, shall 
first giue notice to the said Master and Wardens of the Company 
of Stationers for the time being, of such demise, or suffering to 
worke or print there, upon paine of imprisonment, and such 
other punishment as by this Court, or the said high Commission 
Court respectiuely, as the seuerall Causes shall require, shall bee 
thought fit. . 

' XV. Item^ The Court doth declare, that as formerly, so now, 
there shall be but Twentie Master Printers allowed to haue the 
vse of one Presse or more, as is after specified, and doth hereby 
nominate, allow, and admit these persons whose names hereafter 



KXii INTRODUCTION. 

follow, to the number of Twentie, to have the vse of a Presse, or 
Presses and Printing-house, for the time being, vis. Felix King- 
stone, Adam Islip, Thomas Purfoot, Miles Flesher, Thomas 
Harper^ lohn Beale, lohn Legal, Robert Young, lohn Haviland, 
George Miller, Richard Badger, Thomas Cotes, Bernard Alsop, 
Richard Bishop, Edward Griffin, Thomas Purslow, Richard 
Hodgkinsonne, lohn Dawson, lohn Raworth, Marmaduke 
Parsons. And further, the Court doth order and decree, That 
it shall be lawfull for the Lord Arch-Bishop oi Canterbury , or the 
Lord Bishop of London, for the time being, taking to him or 
them six other high Commissioners, to supply the place or places 
of those which are now already Printers by this Court, as they 
shall fall void by death, or Censure, or otherwise ; Prouided that 
they exceed not the number of Twentie, besides his Maiesties 
Printers, and the Printers allowed for the Vniuersities. 

'XXII. Item, The Court doth hereby declare, that it doth not 
hereby restraine the Printers of either of the Vniuersities from 
taking what number of Apprentices for their seruice in printing 
there, they themselues shall thinke fit. Prouided alwayes, that 
the said Printers in the Vniuersities shall imploy all their owne 
lourney-men within themselves, and not suffer any of their said 
lourney-men to go abroad for imployment to the Printers of 
London (vnlesse vpon occasion some Printers of London desire 
to imploy some extraordinary Workman or Workmen amongst 
them, without preiudice to their owne lourneymen, who are 
Freemen) vpon such penalty as the Chancellor of either of the 
Vniuersities for the time being, shall thinke fit to inflict vpon the 
delinquents herein. 

'XXV. Item, That for the better discouery of printing in 
Corners without licence ; The Master and Wardens of the Com- 
pany of Stationers for the time being, or any two licensed Master- 
Printers, which shall be appointed by the Lord Arch-Bishop of 
Canterbury, or Lord B. of London for the time being, shall haue 
power and authority, to take vnto themselues such assistance as 
they shall think needfull, and to search what houses and shops 
(and at what time they shall think fit) especially Printing-houses, 
and to view what is in printing, and to call for the license to see 
whether it be licenced or no, and if not, to seize vpon so much as 
is printed, together with the seuerall offenders, and to bring them 
before the Lord Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, or the Lord Bishop of 
Lotidon for the time being, that they or either of them may take 
such further order therein as shall appertaine to lustice. 

' XXVI. Item, The Court doth declare, that it shall be lawfull 
also for the said Searchers, if, vpon search they find any book or 
bookes, or part of booke or books which they suspect to containe 
matter in it or them, contrary to the doctrine and discipline of 



INTRODUCTION, , xxiii 

the Church of England^ or against the State and Government, 
upon such suspition to seize upon such book or books, or part of 
booke or books, and to bring it, or them, to the Lord Arch- 
Bishop oi Canterbury^ or the Lord Bishop oi London for the time 
being, who shall take such further course therein, as to their 
Lordships, or either of them shall seeme fit. 

'XXVII. Item^ The Court doth order and declare, that there 
shall be foure P^ounders of letters for printing allowed, and no 
more, and doth hereby nominate, allow, and admit these persons, 
whose names herefter follow, to the number of foure, to be letter- 
Founders for the time being, (viz.) John Grismand, Thomas 
Wright, Arthur Nichols, Alexa7ider Fifeild. And further, the 
Court doth Order and Decree, that it shall be lawfull for the 
Lord Arch-Bishop of Ca7iterbury, or the Lord Bishop of London 
for the time being, taking unto him or them, six other high Com- 
missioners, to supply the place or places of these who are now 
allowed Founders of letters by this Court, as they shall fall void 
by death, censure, or otherwise. 

Prouided, that they exceede not the number of foure, set 
downe by this Court. And if any person or persons, not being 
an allowed Founder, shall notwithstanding take vpon him, or 
them, to Found, or cast letters for printing, vpon complaint and 
proofe made of such offence, or offences, he, or they so offending, 
shal suffer such punishment, as this Court, or the High Commis- 
sion court respectiuely, as the seuerall causes shall require, shall 
think fit to inflict vpon them. 

* XXXI 1 1. Item, That whereas there is an agreement betwixt 
Sir Thomas Bodley, Knight, Founder of the Vniuersity Library at 
Oxford, and the Master, Wardens, and Assistants of the Company 
of Stationers {yiz^ That one Booke of euery sort that is new 
printed, or reprinted with additions, be sent to the Vniuersitie of 
Oxford for the vse of the publique Librarie there ; The Court 
doth hereby Order, and declare. That euery Printer shall reserue 
one Book new printed, or reprinted by him, with additions, and 
shall before any publique venting of the said book, bring it to the 
Common Hall of the Companie of Stationers, and deliuer it to the 
Officer thereof to be sent to the Librarie at Oxford accordingly 
vpon paine of imprisonment, and such further Order and Direction 
therein, as to this Court, or the high Commission Court respec- 
tiuely, as the seuerall causes shall require, shall be thought fit.' 

At the very time this rigorous edict was passed, Prynne*, 
Burton, and Bastwick were lying in various prisons, the earless and 

* See Gardiner's Pers. Gov. of Charles I (ii. 39, 41), as to Prynne's previous 
appearances before the Star Chamber. 



xxiv INTRODUCTION, 

branded victims of the Court that issued it ; but they were presently 
to be the victors. Their treatment excited the deepest commise- 
ration throughout the country. The Star-Chamber might make 
its ' Decrees,' but its days were numbered. With the meeting 
of the Long Parliament its elaborate edict became mere waste 
paper. In July 1641 an Act was passed for /regulating the 

) Privy Council, and for taking away the Court commonly called 
the Star Chamber ' : and so this jealous Court expired, never, 
happily, to be revived, though there were not wanting at the 
Restoration those who would have rejoiced over its renascence. 
^ But the spirit that moved it did not die with it, and was 
soon perceived merely to have transmigrated into a new body. 
_.por a time indeed it was comparatively inoperative and dumb ; 
but in less than three years it began to make its presence once 
more felt. There soon arose complaints of the unmitigated free- 
dom of discussion that was found to prevail. Those who opened 
the lips of the nation were astonished at the thronging cries that 
proceeded from them. Freedom of speech was all very well 
when an enemy was the object of attack ; but when it was them- 
selves that were irreverently canvassed and exposed, it was not 
quite so free from objection. Moreover * new heresies,' so called, 
were springing up every day. Men were striking away from 
all the proper and respectable highways of thought into paths 
no de^corous person had ever heard of. Whose 'views' were 
safe from assault .»* It was altogether uncomfortable to have to be 
perpetually reconsidering and defending one's creed. This state 
of things was felt to be singularly ' unsettling.' 

Not the least amongst the innovating offenders was Milton 
himself. His Divorce treatises had greatly scandalized many who 
had exulted in his succour in the controversy with the bishops 
in 1 64 1 and 1642. They were denounced from the pulpit in a 
sermon^ preached before the two Houses of Parliament in August 
1664, and shortly afterwards^ petitioned against by the Stationers' 
Company. 

Milton then had personal reasons for coming forward as the 
champion of Unlicensed Printing, and, apart from these personal 
motives, he was well aware of the animosity his Divorce writings 
* See Masson's Milton, iii. pp. 162-4 and 363. * Ihid, 165. 



k 



INTRODUCTION. ' xxv 

had aroused, for he speaks of * the world of disesteem' in which 
he found himself. Possibly, in some pew at St. Margaret's, West- 
minster, he heard himself spoken of as 'impudent' enough to 'set 
his name " to a wicked book which was abroad, and uncensured, 
though deserving to be burnt.' Perhaps there was never incar- 
nate a spirit so impatient of all petty regulation and control as \ 
was that of Milton. Not that he meant 'license' when he cried 
'liberty,' for his sense of law was as deep as his nature ; and, bold 
thinkfiras he was, he was ever ready and eager to acknowledge all| 
just and eternal restrictions upon human thought. But for any 
nieaner limitings, they moved in him disdain and indignation. 

' For me,' he writes in The Reason of Church Government urged 
against Prelaty^ ' I have determined to lay up as the best treasure 
and solace of a good old age, if God vouchsafe it me, the honest 
liberty of free speech^hovci my youth, where I shall think it available 
in so dear a concernment as the Church's good.' 

His was eminently ' a free and knowing spirit,' and resented, as 
a fearful ignominy, any attempts to bind and shackle it. Our 
supreme dramatic poet tells us, in one of his sonnets, of certain 
sights that ' tired ' him, and made him cry for ' restfull death ' ; 
and amongst the sickening spectacles are 

Strength by limping sway disabled. 
And art made tongue-tied by authority ^ 
And folly doctor-like controlling skill.' 

Not other are the visions Milton sees in his Areopagitica : — 

' What is it but a servitude, like that imposed by the Philistines, 
not to be allowed the sharpening of our own axes and coulters, 
but we must repair from all quarters to twenty licensing forges ? 
' What advantage is it to be a man over it is to be a boy at 
school, if we have only scapt the ferular to come under the fescue 
of an imprimatur ? ' 

But these things do not 'tire' and dishearten Milton. Rather 
they inflame him with a noble rage ; and so, in a very splendour of 
wrath, he rouses himself to strike them down. He seems ' larger 
than human,' as he advances to the fray, and the air around is 
filled with lightnings, and a clear way cleft in front of him with 
thunderbolts no shields can stay. 

^Ti h\ 8icL irpo/xaxojv KdcopvOfxiuos a'iOoni xaXxif 
, . . . <p\oyl uKeXot 'Ucpouaroio 



xxvi INTRODUCTION, 

It need scarcely be said that Milton's fitness for the cham- 
pionship he assumed was recognised by others. Indeed it was 
partly in deference to the urgency of others that he stood for- 
ward as he did. Learned men were complaining of the new 
tyranny — 

* And that so generally that when I disclosed m.yself a com- 
panion of their discontent, I might say, if without envy, that he 
whom an honest quasstorship had endeared to the Sicilians was 
not more by them importuned against Verres, than the favourable 
opinion which I had among many who honour ye, and are known 
and respected by ye, loaded me with entreaties and persuasions 
that I would not despair to lay together that which just reason 
should bring into my mind toward the removal of an undeserved 
thraldom upon learning.' 



SECTION III. THE FORM. 

As Milton wished directly to appeal to the Parliament, and not 
merely to talk at them, it seemed to him well t o cast what h e had 
\ to say in the form oi a Speech addr essed straight to them . Not 
that the speech was ever meant to be delivered in the ordinary 
'sense. Just as the best dramatic pieces of the present century 
were written to be read — not to be seen acted — so this work was 
meant to be read, not heard delivered. It was meant for the 
closet, not for the forum. The author ascends an imaginary 
tribune, 4s4 conceives_t he Lords and Commons of En gland 
gathered aro und to list en. This direct expression suited better 
tne mood oF^ilton's spirit at the time. He was terribly in 
earnest, and zealous to strike home. He did not propose merely 
to discuss the general question at issue, but he longed also to 
expostulate immediately and fervently with the Government on 
the character of the policy they were enforcing. It seemed to 
him no idle matter fit for leisurely disquisition, but a matter of 
life and death ; and so far as might be, he would put aside all 
intervening obstacles, and say out in the very ears of those 
whom -he would move the thoughts that burned within him. 
Moreover, it gave no trifling charm in his judgment to this treat- 
ment of his subject that precedents for it were, as we shall see, 
to be found in that Greek literature which was his delight. 



INTRODUCTION, ' xxvii 

It is to be remembered then, that the Parliament is im me- 
diately before the eye of hi s mind throughout ~ this discourse. 
1 he exordium or openmg passage is altogether devoted to their 
praTseS, iirld the deprecation of any annoyance^ that' might pos- 
s i^ly bF^reated b>' his boldness in intruding hisVoice upon them. 
He says that the m^e~thought of whom it is his address ' hath 
recourse to,' stirs in him a strange excitement — ' hath got the 
power within me to a passion far more welcome than incidental 
to a preface.' And, indeed, this was no wonder, when wev 
think of the immortal services that ' High Court' had done for j 
England. In the subsequent history of the Long Parliament ^ 
there may be something that is ignoble and mean. It may be 
that it outlived its vigour, and in its senility sank into folly and 
contempt ; but it is not possible to recall its illustrious youth and 
the prowess of it without pride and admiration. Milton's au- 
dience was at the time he spoke not unworthy of Milton. And 
amidst all the eulogies that contemporaries and writers since 
of all shades of political opinion have bestowed upon that memor- 
able House of Commons, no higher compliment was ever paid 
to it than when the ardent soul of Milton turned so impetuously 
towards it to pray for the relaxation of bonds that seemed to 
stifle the very spirit of freedom. Its past career filled him with 
confidence for the future. 

*For this is not the liberty which wee can hope, that no 
grievance ever should arise in the Commonwealth, that let no 
man in this World expect ; but when complaints are freely heard, 
deeply consider'd, and speedily reform'd, then is the utmost 
bound of civill liberty attained that wise men looke for. To 
which if I now manifest by the very sound of this which I shall 
utter that we are already in good part arriv'd, and yet from such 
a steepe disadvantage of tyranny and superstition grounded into 
our principles as was beyond the manhood of a Roman recovery, 
it will bee attributed first, as is most due, to the strong assistance 
of God, our deliverer ; next, to your faithfull guidance, and un- 
daunted Wisdome, Lords and Commons of England.' 

It has been already said that for this Reading Speech, if we 
may call it so (as we speak of a Reading Play as opposed to 
an Acting Play), Milton found Greek example. Indeed it is 
possible enough that Greek example may have, in the first 



XXVUI WTRODUCTTOli, 

instance, suggested the form of the work. Perhaps no one has 
ever lived in modern times who appreciated more intensely than 
Milton the excellence of Greek art. His writings abound with 
professions and testimonies of this distinguishing Hellenism. 
Thus, in a letter to Leonard Philaros, the Athenian, in 1654, 
he speaks of himself as * A pueritia totius Graeci nominis tua- 
rumque in primis Athenarum cultor, si quis alius ^'; /.<?. 'as from 
Ihis boyhood a worshipper, if ev^er there was one, of all that bore 
the Greek name, and especially of your Athens.' In the re- 
marks with which he prefaces Samson Agonistes^ he pronounces 
Aeschylos, Sophokles, and Euripides, * the three tragic poets un- 
equalled by any, and the best rule to all who endeavour to write 
tragedy.' See the famous passage in the Fourth Book of Paradise 
Regained, where he describes Athens with an accurate minuteness 
that is not slightly significant of the frequency and the devotion 
vvith which, in thought at least, he had visited that fair metropolis 
of the wx>rld of mind 

'L*Mk oacc flMre, ere we ieire this specular moimt; 
W«l!tWU< WKh nearer by southwest, behol«l» 
W)Mr« Ml th« iEgean jliore x city «an<i&, 
B«i^ VMbty, pure th« air, and light the soil; 
A^Atttk tfc« eye of Greece, mother of arts 
^ftd «|idi^«CfKe, native to famous wits 
Or llM^tmble, in her sweet recess* 
City or suburhaAt tMllovi ^if^ 
See there the oti^ flWH> «if Jk»im% 
Plato's retitMMWI, WM IIk Ank IM 

There ftoinrr Mf ^^ ^ 

Of 

T<> 

Nik nullum iiig stF^m : wvtlita the waOs tlMn new 

TIk MiMdIs of ancient sages ; his^ wbo breA 

OM^t JUtiEwn^ t» s«M«e tin toI< 

tt was one of the deai«stli^«s«0rkb ywiAl^irtslttdyb AiIm9S 
m the body, but ' w^hefi I w» fmpuMi^ t» fess «v«r aii» Sidlf 
jmd Greece, tlift ■KtMBcto^y w^ t ttt ^g ittDft ^i^ik^ I recei\^ o<f die 
civil commotkfts k Ei^kftd aaife mt a^wr ny psupose; fer I 
tlM«(elK it lyase to be travclfit|( dbradl >Myk mf \ 




INTRaUCVTIOiV. XXIX 

wore fighting for liberty at home^.' It may wdl be believed that 
this resgnation of his Greek tour was not the least of the sacri- 
fices Milton made at the call of Duty. Such was the fascination 
of Greek artistic form over him that, as is well known, his first 
design for his great poem was formed on the model of the Greek 
drama. Towards the dose of his life hedid srplan and compose 
his Samson Agonistes, 

The ^^c>/a§7/rtYr illustrates the influence of Greece upon him • 
scarcely less than the Samson Agonistes. Its name is Greek, and 
its model was Greek. In the prose work, Isokrates is to the 
aaxtfaor what Euripides was to him in the dramatic poem. And 
it is introduced with a Greek motto-. 

In looking roimd for parallels to himself, in his oration to the 
English Parliament in behalf of a Free Press, he naturally turned 
Ms eyes to Greece, and the men who in the days of Greece^ 
'profe^ the study of wisdom and eiotjuence.' He saw the 
nearest resemblance to his own case in the \6yo9^ 'ApeoTraytrticoy, 
thcAreopagiticDiscoiurseaf Isokrates, and he adopted the name, 
or a mere variation of it*". It is Isokrates he means when he 
sp^cs of him ' who from his private house wrote that discourse 
to the Fariiament of Athens that perswades them to change the 
fcnrm of Democracy which was then established.' To this same 
writer he alludes in his Sonnet to the Lady Margaret Ley. The 
Lady Margarers fiather, the Eari of Marlborough, was said to 
have died broken-hearted by the dissolution of the Parliament of 
162^* (Charies Fs third Parliament), and Milton finds a parallel 
in the story that the news of Philip of Macedon's victory over 
±e Atiienians m 338 B.C killed Isokrates. ' The good Earl,' he 
say% after his l ei ii e ment from public life, lived on, 

' Tht Second Deicaace. 

*Bnim the Suppiiants of Euripities* a favourite author with Miiton. See 
Sigri. 4g:9-4J- The reauling* given are such a& cmiid not be retained wheu 
— f t&e ii m c im e of the Iamtecwas> understood. The nrst line qow ran&-: 

tfir tet;. more SEOi^actDr i y perhaps : 

*'Slhr IkifiBnent wm dufuived Match: no, i^^S-^* Loni !MbtU}oiou^ 
dia< on 3brdt C4db. 



XXX INTRODUCTION, 

'more in himself content, 
Till the sad breaking of that Parliament 

Broke him ; as that dishonest victory 

At Chaeronea, fatal to liberty, 
Kill'd with report that old man eloquent.' 

This * old man eloquent ' was at the time of his death some 
ninety-eight years of age, being born in 436 B.C. As a young 
man he had won the highest praise from Sokrates. See 
Plato's Phaidros, 279 A, when, Lysias having been discussed, 
Phaidros asks Sokrates what he has to say for Isokrates : — 
AoKei /iot, answers the Sage, d/xdvcou ^ Kara tovs nepl Avcrlau elvai 
\6yovs TO. TTjS (f)va-€(i)s, €Ti T€ TjdeL yevviKOiTepoi KeKpaadai' &(tt€ ov8ev 
av yevoiTO OavixacTTOV, npoLovarjs tt]s rj\iKlas el nepl avTovs re tovs 
Xoyovs, ols vvp emxeipel, rrXeov ^ rraidoiv dieveyKoi touv TrooTroTe 
d\l/ap.€V(ov Xoyiov, en re, el avTW fifj a'iroxpr](jai ravra, iizl /ue/^o) be 
Ti9 avTOV (iyoi opfxf} OeLorepa. (fivcrei yap, o) (f)i\e, eveaTi tis (piXo- 
(Tocf)La TTJ rov dv8p6s biavoiq. ' I think he deserves a higher esti- 
mate than we have given Lysias as to natural gifts, and further 
that he is compounded with a nobler nature ; so that it would 
prove no wonder, as he advances in years, if in respect of the 
very rhetoric, which he now takes in hand, he should excel all 
who have ever yet applied themselves to it as if they were 
scarcely children at it ; and further, should such success not 
suffice him, if a certain diviner impulse should lead him to greater 
things ; for, my friend, there is an inborn philosophical power in 
his intellect.' Isokrates scarcely fulfilled this high prophecy ; but 
as a rhetorician he became supremely eminent. Physical weak- 
ness incapacitated him from the public practice of his art ; but 
he became the most famous teacher of his day, and, what more 
nearly concerns us, the great composer of Reading Speeches, 
which enjoyed a wide circulation throughout Greece. Especially 
noticeable was he for connecting orator}^ and politics ; for be- 
fore his time the art of speaking, * with the exception of the 
panegyrical species, had hitherto been cultivated chiefly for the 
contest of the courts \' 

The drift of his Areopagiticos has already been quoted from 
Milton himself. Its purpose was in fact to bring back to Athens 

* See Lewis' Miiller's Hist, of the Literature of Ancient Greece, p. 505. 



INTRODUCTION, ' xxxi 

the old democracy. It was written *in the beginning of the 
Philippic times \' at a critical period in Attic history, r^y TroXecof 
eV Kipdvvois ovaT]S rj aipaXepoos avrrj twu Trpayfidrav KadeaTaroou, 
though men shut their eyes to the perils that encompassed them- ; 
and he urges that the only way to avert future dangers, and de- 
liver themselves from those already present, is to resolve to recall 
the democracy, 'which Solon, who proved so great a friend of the 
people ordained by law, and Kleisthenes, who cast out the tyrants 
and brought back the people, once more established afresh.' 
This was not perhaps the program of a great statesman, but 
rather of a visionary, or a ' professor ' ; for decayed forms of 
government are not so easily recalled to life. Certainly, the 
wails of a rhetorician over the pulseless body have no power to 
re-inspire it. Isokrates proceeds to insist more particularly on 
the revival and reinstatement of the Court of the Areopagos ^, 
and hence the name of his discourse. He praises its composition, 
and the functions it exercised, which he sums up as * the caring 
for good order' (emueXeladai ttjs €VKO(riJt.tas)\ 

Between this speech and that of Milton, as respects subject 
matter, there is clearly but a slight resemblance ; there is rather 
an opposition ; for Isokrates aims at recalling an interfering 
power, Milton at removing one. What recommended the name 
to Milton is, as has already been remarked, the likeness between 
his position and that of the Greek. He too 'wrote' 'from his 
private house' 'a discourse' on a high political question. As 
Isokrates addressed the Boul^, so Milton the Parliament. But it 
cannot be said that Milton was happy in christening his treatise 
as he did. The name is, and will be, a perpetual stumbling- 

^ 'EypoKprj 5' 6 \6yos iv dpxais twv ^iknrmKcjv xpovojv. See the 'TiroOeais 
dvctivvfiov ypafjL/MTiKov. 

^ EvpicKO} yap Tavrrjv pLov-qv Lv yivopLtvqv Kot twv p.€W6vT(uv Kivbvvoiv 
airoTpoirrjV Kat rwv napovTcav KaKuiv dnaWay^v, i]v iOiX-qaaipiiv eKeivrjv Tr)v 
STjpoKpaTiav dva\aP(Tv, -fju SoAcwj/ pikv 6 drfp.OTiKcoTaTos yevopLcvos ivopo- 
6eTT)(r€, KX(i(t6€vt]s S' o tovs rvpdvvovs iK^aXuiv koX tuv bfjpLOV Karayaywv 
vaKiv l£ dpxfis KaTfaTTjfffv. Isokrates' Areop. 143 a. 

' On the Areopagos see Smith's Diet, of Antiquities ; Mullet's Disserta- 
tions on the Eunienides of Aeschylus; Hermann's Manual of Grecian 
Antiquities; Grote's Greece, ii. 281, &c. 

* See a quotation from this same speech in Ascham'f Scholemaster, 
p. 58, ed. Arbcr. 



xxxii INTRODUCTION. 

block to the Englishman. How it must have made, and how it 
makes now, the ordinary Briton 'stare and gasp' ! Itjs essen- 
tially an unpopular title, and may be taken as a sign of Miltoil's 
indifference to merely popular approval. He cared for *fit au- 
dience, though few' {Pa7'. Lost^ vii. 31); to *be heard only,' if it 
might be, by the * elegant and learned reader, to whom princi- 
pally for a while I shall beg leave I may address myself {Reason 
of Church Government, p. 43 of Works) ; to 'have the good wishes 
of here and there some,' ' by whom, ever so few though they be, 
I, for my part, would rather be approved, than by countless com- 
panies of unskilled ones, in whom is nothing of mind, or right 
reason, or sound judgment' (Prolusion I) ; 'not to seduce the 
simple and iUiterate,' but 'to find out the choicest and the 
learnedest, who have this high gift of wisdom to answer solidly 
or to be convinced.' 

For the rest there is but little likeness between the styles of the 
two works. But in this respect, too, a sharp contrast, — that of 
Isokrates is exquisitely refined and clear, the marble is smoothed 
to the utmost — ' ne quid possit per leve morari.' The immense 
care he bestowed upon the composition of his orations, and the 
time he spent in working them out and polishing them, may be 
inferred from the statement that he was engaged for a period 
of ten, and, according to others, of fifteen years upon his 
Panegyric Oration \ The style is the man, and Isokrates' style 
well reflects Isokrates. Like our poet Pope, he says perspicu- 
ously and well what he has to say, but then it is not so very much. 
The water is pellucid, but then it is not deep. With Milton 
it was far different. He had more to say than he could say. 
/His thoughts rush upon him in a throng that he can at times 
'scarcely order and control. His utterance is almost choked. 
He brought to his work an immense mass of knowledge, such as 
won for him the title of 'learned' in an age of learned men; and 
at the same time, as we have seen, the profoundest depths of a 
\ profound nature were stirred and moved by the character of 
I his enterprise. No wonder then, if at times his eloquence 
i wellnigh overmastered him, bursting forth torrent-like, or 

^ See Smith's larger Diet, of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 
s. V. ' Isocrates,' and the reference there given to Quintilian, x. 4. 4. 



i 



INTRODUCTION. xxxiii 

flashing out in a fiery shower that would not be confined. The 
fact is that for the expression of such a genius as that of 
Milton, a genmsso^^uick and fertile by nature, so splen- 
didly cultivated and enriched by long and eager study, metre 
was absolutely necessary, not only as its natural form but 
for the very restraints it imposed. He judged quite justly of 
himself, when, called by Duty, as he thought, to write prose, 
he felt himself comparatively inefficient and maimed. 'If 1 
were wise only to mine own ends,' he wrote, ' I should not 
choose this manner of writing, wherein knowing myself mferior 
to myself, led by the genial power of nature to another task, I 
have the use, as I may account, but of my left hand\' It was 
not natural for him to write in 'the pedestrian manner.' Of him 
Quintilian's words of Plato are true, but they scarcely say 
enough : * Plato multo supra prosam orationem et quam pedes- 
trem {TXi^ov) Graeci vocant surgit.' Beneathall his prose period^ 
the fire of his poetry may be seen gleaming, and ever and anoii 
it Jbtreaks through and blazes, up supreme. It is an incalculable 
loss to our poetical literature that Milton's part in it is com- 
paratively so scanty. Poetry was his ' calling ' ; he had, in his 
very youth, recognised it to be so ; with a singular devotion and 
an unparalleled industry he had striven to ripen himself for his 
work ; his ' clear spirit ' raised 

' To scorn delights and live laborious days ; 
But the fair guerdon when we hope to find, 
And think to burst out into sudden blaze. 
Comes the blind Fury.' 

She came to Milton not to * slit the thin-spun life,' but to ap- 
point him a far different lot from that of which he had fondly 
dreamt. With ' small willingness ' he ventured ' to interrupt the 
pursuit of no less hopes than these, and leave a calm and pleasing 
solitariness, fed with cheerful and confident thoughts, to em- 
bark in a troubled sea of noises and hoarse disputes, put from 
beholding the bright countenance of truth in the quiet and still 
air of delightful studies.' 

Occasionally the difficulty found in the style of the Areopagiiica 

^ Reason of Church Government, 



xxxiv INTRODUCTION, 

' rs due to Milton's attempting a Greek arrangement of the words ; 
but, most commonly, it is due to the obscurity to which Elizabethan 
Iprose, with its periodic structure, was signally liable in the hands 
of a writer so impetuous and so abundant as Milton. In his use 
of this periodic structure Milton was no doubt encouraged by the 
example of Isokrates, who was famous for his full -flowing ex - 
panded sentences. ' In his earlier labours,' says Mullei^ * he took 
as much pains with this symmetrical structure [the antithetical, 
previously most cultivated] as any Sophist could have done ; but 
in the more flourishing period of his art he contrived to melt 
down the rigidity and stiffness of the antithesis, by breaking 
through the direct and immediate opposition of sentences, and 
by marshalling them in successive groups and a longer series.' 
With him the result, thanks partly to his own nature, as we 
have said above, and partly to the character of the language in 
which he wrote — a language in which, through the variety of its 
inflexions, and, still more, through its richness in particles, or 
links (SeV/Ltot), as they were called, complexity is possible with- 
out intricacy — is not obscurity but cleirness. With Milton, it 
must be allowed, the danger of obscurity is not always avoided. 
. The reader had needs be careful, or he will lose the main path, 
and find himself in what seems at first a hopeless labyrinth. It 
is easy, however, to exaggerate this peril. Perhaps all that is 
* really needed by the student is great care. Milton's periods 
are not really mere confused tangles of ornate phraseology, as 
listening to some critics one might be led to suppose. 
^;, Milton is the last great writer in the old periodic style. Not a 
greater change canje over our poetry than over our prose in the 
latter half of the seventeenth century. Dryden's Essays differ in 
style from Milton's pamphlets as much as his Fables from Para- 
dise Lost. There is no|pne who does not admire the brilliant 
transparency of the style of the later writer, and the good ser- 
vice he did for us in impressing that virtue upon our literature. 
It would be a narrow criticism, that, fascinated by that sovereign 
charm, should fail to recognise what is worthy and noble in the 
older writer. Milton's sentences possess^iTstately majesty that 
belongs to a different sphere from that which gave birth tc 
Dryden. * 



INTRODUCTION. xxxv 

•Another race hath been, and other palms are won.' 
* There were giants in those days ' ; and let not the generation 
that succeeds disparage their mighty predecessors. In a sense 
Milton was the last of the Titans, and his style is Titanic. 

* Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the Sea.' 



SECTION IV. THE RESULT. 

It was not till ' after many days ' — not till after his own eyes 
were closed in death — that the bread Milton cast upon the waters i 
was seen. The Press was not delivered from Licensers till 1694 — [ 
just twenty years after the decease of their great opponent ; just 
half a century after the publication of the Areopagitica. 

From the Presbyterians indeed, who were in power in 1644, 
there was nothing to be hoped. MeivtionJiaaalready^been made 
of t he bitt er discovery which Milton and kindred free spiritswere 
to have forced upon them — that, in exchanging Convocation fori 
Synod, they had but substituted one tyranny for another. And 
thus^~for all the impassioned appeals of the Areopagitica^ the 
Parliament did not relax the Ordinance, which was, in fact, as we 
have seen, but an old Star-Chamber decree re-enacted \ This 
Ordinance was in some sort repealed or re-inforced in 1647, 
1649, ^^*i 1652. A warrant of Lord-General Fairfax, dated 
January 9, directs Captain Richard Lawrence, Marshal-General 
of ' the Army under my command,' in virtue of the Parliamen- 
tary Ordinance of 1649 (dated January 5), to put in execution 
the previous enacimenis concerning ' scandalous and unlicensed 
pamphlets.' The Marshal- General is 'required and authorized 
to take into custody any person or persons who have offended 
or shall hereafter offend, against the said Ordinances, and inflict 
upon them such corporal punishments, and levy such penalties 
upon them for each offence, as are therein mentioned, and not 
discharge them till they have made full payment thereof, and 
received the said punishment accordingly.' And he. is further 
authorized and required to make diligent search ' from time to 
* See Kerr's Blackstonc, iv. 161, note; ScobcU's Acts and Ordinances. 
C 2 



/ 



xxxvi INTRODUCTION, 

time, in all places wherein he shall think meet, for all unlicensed 
printing presses any way employed in printing scandalous and 
unlicensed pap^^pamphlets, books, or ballads, and to search for 
such unlicensecfl^lll^apers, treatises,' &c. But even in those 
dark days Milton ^i^^P at least one convert, and we may well 
believe that throughout the country those who had ears to hear 
heard him, although there might be no public response. This 
one convert was one of the Licensers, Gilbert Mabbott by name. 
When in May 1649 ^^ resigned his post, he gave reasons for 
,^his step that were clearly derived from the Areopagitica\ 

When the Independents rose into power, though there was no 
formal repeal of the stringent ordinances of the Long Parliament, 
yet they were no longer executed, at least so far as matters of 
religious opinion were concerned, with the rigour their prede- 
cessors had practised, or desired. The office of Licenser fell into 
^ abeyance. Religious tolerance had long been the watchword 
/of the Independents, and it redounds to their glory that they 
did not, after attaining power, discredit the professions they had 
made when smarting under the coercions of others. It is true 
that their notion of tolerance was imperfect, as indeed was 
ythat of Milton and of Jeremy Taylor ; that they excepted Roman 
(Catholics ; that they once or twice inflicted punishment on anti- 
Vrinitarians ; that they ordered certain blasphemous books to be 
burned ; that they prohibited the Episcopalian worship. Some- 
thing might readily be said by way of apology for these de- 
flections from the highest ideal. But this defence unattempted, 
it remains true that they were the first party in England, perhaps 
in Europe, that distinctly professed the principle of religious 
toleration as a practical principle of their politics, and that after 
- i^he overthrow of the Presbyterians they adhered in success to 
-'the creed of their adversity. With regard to political writings 
during the Commonwealth, the peculiar position of the govern- 
ment must be remembered. It is clear that a free political Press 
j is not easily compatible with a rule that is not firmly based on 
I the national consent. And, however decidedly we may reject 
the old royalist legends of Cromwell's* selfish ambition and 

' See Birch's Life of Milton. Birch quotes from ' A Perfect Diurnal of 
some Passages in Parliament,' &c., No. 304, for May, 21-29, 1649. 



INTRODUCTION. xxxvii 

remorseless tyranny, — to whatever degree we may sympathize 
with Milton's admiration for 

• Our chief of men, who through a cloud 
Not of war only, but detractions rude, 
Guided by faith and matchless fortitude, 
To peace and truth thy glorious way hast plough'd, 
And on the neck of crowned Fortune proud 

Hast rear'd God's trophies, and His work pursu'd,' — 

whatever pride we may take in his foreign policy, that made 
the English name respected and potent throughout Europe as 
scarcely ever before or since, — yet it must be confessed that 
the Protector governed a reluctant people, and was encom- 
passed at home by discontents and threatenings and treacheries. 
Not all his merits could overcome the enormous difficulties of 
the situation : for partly they were not recognised at all ; partly 
they were in the eyes of a great mass of the nation more than 
counterbalanced by what were thought to be egregious errors 
and defects. Hence, in mere self-defence, it seemed that private 
presses could not be allowed, and that allowed presses must be 
regulated. It was ordered in October 1653 (some two months 
before the Protectorate was formally established) that no person 
should presume to publish in print any matter of public news 
or intelligence without leave and approbation of the Secretary 
of State. 

A government obnoxious to the prejudices of the country, and 
that could not with safety to itself permit political matters to be 
freely discussed, could not be expected to stand. When the 
strong hand of Cromwell was relaxed by death, there was no 
vital force left in the political system he had organized ; and 
after nine months of imminent chaos the nation, whose loyalty 
had never expired, but had of late years burned fervently, how- 
ever silently, turned once more to its old traditions. 

With the Restoration the old regime was for the most part 
revived. It was even proposed by some ardent spirits to recall 
the Star Chamber into life ; but, wild as was the reactionary 
enthusiasm of the day, they failed to achieve such a dismal re- 
surrection. But the old restrictions of the Press were once 
more rigorously enforced. In 1662 the office of Licenser was 



xxxviii INTRODUCTION, 

revived, the Judges, certain officers of state, and the Archbishop 
of Canterbury, being appointed to supervise various depart- 
ments of literature. In 1663 Roger L'Estrange was appointed 
Licenser — an appointment he seems to have held, possibly with 
an intermission, till the Revolution, when he was succeeded by 
one Fraser, who, probably for some negligence in the discharge 
of his functions — it is said for having allowed to be printed Dr. 
Walker's True Account of the Author of Eikon Basilike — was 
presently dismissed, when Edmund Bohun, a Suffolk justice, 
took his place. Bohun was to be the last of the Licensers, for 
the system had entered upon its last generation when it was 
reinstituted by Charles IL 

The Act of 1662^ was, in short, but a new version of the 
previous parliamentary ordinances ; and a proclamation was 
issued 'for suppressing the printing and pubhshing unlicensed 
news-books and pamphlets of news, because it has become a 
common practice for evil-disposed persons to vend to his Ma- 
jesty's people all the idle and malicious reports that they could 
collect or invent, contrary to law ; the continuance whereof 
would, in a short time, endanger the peace of the kingdom ; the 
same manifestly tending thereto, as has been declared by all 
his Majesty's subjects unanimously.' L'Estrange, himself a 
virulent pamphleteer and acrid journalist both before and after 
the Restoration, was not idle in his office ; and so our literature, 
under his dictatorship, was subjected to perpetual mutilation. 
*The sponge^' was ever in his hand, and he slurred and rubbed 
without compunction. Out of many instances of the manner in 
which this censorial jurisdiction was exercised by him, or by his 
assessors, Milton himself may be cited. It appears that Para- 
dise Lost was itself in danger. The suspicious eye of the 
licenser — the Rev. Thomas Tomkyns, one of the chaplains of 
Archbishop Sheldon— had lighted upon certain lines in Book I ; 
see 594-600. 

*As when the sun new ris'n 
Looks through the horizontal misty air 
Shorn of his beams, or from behind the moon 
In dim eclipse disastrous twilight sheds 

» 13 and 14 Car. II. c. 33. « See p. la. 



INTRODUCTION. xxxix 

On half the nations, and with fear of change 
Perplexes monarchs. Dark'n'd so, yet shone 
Above them all th' Archangel.' 

The sensitive royalist, it is said, smelt treason in this mention 
of monarchs perplexed with fear of change, and pondered 
whether he should not suppress the whole work, though indeed 
a free excision might have satisfied the requirements of the case. 
That he permitted to pass unchallenged other passages of the 
poem, as 1. 497-502, VII. 23-38, XII. 13-104, may perhaps excite 
surprise. Possibly he may have thought it not worth his while 
to revise too severely a work that seemed so little in harmony 
with the taste of the time, and therefore so little likely to enjoy 
any wide popularity. In the case of another of his writings 
Milton did not escape so easily. His History of Britain actually 
suffered laceration. Several passages, describing the pride and 
superstition of the 'Saxon' monks were, it is said, taken to be 
aimed at the prelates of his own time, and were accordingly 
expunged. If this was his interpretation, the licenser blundered 
oddly, for the passages certainly portray the Long Parliament 
and the Assembly of Divines. The current story may not per- 
haps do the licenser justice. According to Richardson the 
passages had been excised ' as being a sort of digression, and in 
order to avoid giving offence to a party quite subdued, and whose 
faults the government were then willing to have forgotten.' The - 
licenser might expunge, but he could not destroy them. 'Milton 
gave a copy of the proscribed remarks to the Earl of Anglesea, 
which were published in 1681, with a preface declaring that 
they originally belonged to the third book of his history, and 
they are now found in their proper placed' Thus Milton suffered 
himself the degradation he mentions with such keen abhorrence 
in the AreopagiticaP- . Amongst the many bitternesses his great 
heart was destined to know, in the course of his vexed life, this 
assuredly was not the least. Not to be counted 'fit to print his 
mind without a tutor and examiner,' was, he held, ' the greatest 

' See Todd's Milton's Poetical Works, i. 209, ed. 1826. 

* See the passage in Prose Works, 502-504. It begins, * Of those who 
iwayed most in the late troubles,' &c.; and ends, ' which give us matter of 
this digression.' 



xl INTRODUCTION. 

displeasure and indignity to a free and knowing spirit that can 
be put upon him.' One may imagine the profound contempt, 
and also the sad anguish — one may scorn one's foes, but yet 
their arrows pierce us — with which, in his retired house in 
Artillery Walk, he would hear of the insolent scrutinies of the 
precious life-blood of his ' master spirit,' with whose embalming 
and treasuring up on purpose to a life beyond life, coarse 
hands were thus rudely interfering^ 

The Act of 1662 expired in 1679. It was formally renewed in 
1685*, and continued till 1692. In 1692 it was re-enacted for two 
more years. When it lapsed in 1694 it lapsed for ever, in spite 
of various advocacies and clamours repeated from time to time. 

In his account of the final extinction in 1694 of a power so 
formidable and so perilous, Macaulay well points out how 
quietly and unobservedly it happened. When the question was 
put in the House of Commons ' That the House do agree with 
the Committee on the Resolution that the Act, entitled an Act 
for preventing Abuses in printing Seditious, treasonable, and un- 
licensed Pamphlets, and for regulating of Printing and Printing 
Presses be continued,' ' the Speaker pronounced that the Noes 
had it,' and the Ayes did not think fit to divide. The Lords, 
indeed, proposed to continue it ; but when the Commons 
presently set forth their objections in a paper delivered to the 
Lords, and these objections all related to matters of detail, being 
many of them what Milton would have called 'arguments of 
merchandize,' * the Lords yielded without a contest.' 

' The Lords yielded without a contest. They probably ex- 
pected that some less objectionable bill for the regulation of the 
press would soon be sent up to them, and, in fact, such a bill was 
brought into the House of Commons, read twice, and referred to 
a Select Committee. But the Session closed before the Com- 
mittee had reported, and English literature was emancipated, 
and emancipated for ever, from the control of the Government^' 

In subsequent years — in 1697, in 1703, in 17 13 — the subject 
was again mooted, for there were not wanting outside the walls 
of Parliament those who called upon the House to re-impose 

' See p. 6. * See Macaulay s Hist, of England, ii. 162, ed. 1861. 

^ Ibid. vii. 169, cd. i86i. 



INTRODUCTION, ' xli 

the old restraints. Thus there appeared a Modest Plea for the 
Due regulation of the Press, in Answer to reasons lately 
printed against it, humbly submitted to the judgment of au- 
thority, by Francis Gregory, D.D., and Rector of Hambledon, in 
the County of Bucks : London, 1698' ; 'A Letter to a Member 
of Parliament showing the Necessity of regulating the Press : 
Oxford, 1699^'; and other similar appeals. But they were 
made in vain. In later times there have been some who have 
sighed or cried aloud for the old supervision, or, at least, have 
been prone to believe that the absence of it begat not so much 
liberty as license. Thus Hume writes of the event of 1694, 
projecting, it may be thought, his own views into his account 
of it :— 

*To the great displeasure of the King and his Ministers, who 
seeing nowhere, in any Government during present or past ages, 
any example of such unlimited freedom, doubted much of its 
salutary effects, and probably thought that no books or writings 
would ever so much improve the general understanding of men 
as to render it safe to entrust them with an indulgence so easily 
abused.' 

* And the present moment,' remarks the author of the Curiosities 
of Literature^ first published 1791-1817, after quoting the above 
words, 'verifies the prescient conjecture of the philosopher. 
Such is the licentirusness of our press that some, not perhaps 
the most hostile to the cause of freedom, would not be averse 
to manacle authors once more with an Imprimatur.' 

And so there will be always some who will forget, under the 
pressure of certain disadvantages, all the blessings that a Free 
Press has conferred upon us, who, in the sun, will see nothing 
but spots, or, in the spring time, a mere carnival of east 
winds. Moreover, is the abuse of a thing to be truly and per- 
manently cured by restraining the use of it ? If a man handles 
his sword awkwardly, so that he wounds his friends and himself 
rather than the enemy, will his dexterity be improved by taking 
his weapon from him ? Or shall we not better teach him a 
more judicious management t 

* The pamphlet especially referred to is • A Letter to a Member of 
Parliament, showing that a restraint on the Press is inconsistent with the 
Protestant religion, and dangerous to the liberties of the nation.' 



xlii INTRODUCTION, 

But, to return to the Areopagitica, it may appear perhaps, 
from the account given above of the end of Press-licensing, that 
Milton did little or nothing towards the achievement of it, inas- 
much as the general question with which his work deals was not 
at all discussed when that end came. But it would be rash for 
this reason to conclude that Milton spent his strength for 
nought. It is, in fact, impossible to estimate what the influence 
of his discourse may have been between 1644 and 1694. The 
influence of a book is not to be judged so much by the quantity, 
as by the quality, of its readers. And one can scarcely doubt 
that the words of the Areopagitica sank deep into the hearts of 
the better spirits of the time. To them it was addressed, and 
only to them was it fully intelligible. It could not be expected 
to have a large general circulation, but it was held a sovereign 
work in its own sphere. It was regarded as a central spring, to 
which others might resort. 

* Hither as to their fountain other stars 
Repairing, in their urns draw golden light.' 

We have noticed its influence upon Mabbott ; and so in other 
cases we find its arguments reproduced. Thus a pamphlet 
called 'A Just Vindication of Learning, or an Humble Address 
to the High Court of Parliament in behalf of the Liberty of the 
Press, by Philopatris : London, 1679,' is neither more nor less 
than a mutilated copy of the Ai'eopagitica. A work entitled 
* Reasons humbly offered for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing, 
1693,' is simply an abridgment of it. 

Nor is our estimate of the result of the Areopagitica to be 
limited by the year 1694. All that it had to teach was not 
finally taught when the licensing system formally ceased ; nor 
was it then to be thrown away, like a ticket that has served its 
purpose. It was published separately in 1738, in 1772, in 1792, 
in 1819, in 1868 ; with the 'Tractat of Education' in 1780; with 
other tracts in 1809. Mirabeau's tract, ' Sur la Liberty de la 
Presse,' 1788, is merely a reproduction of it. 'Le titre de ce 
morceau tres singulier, ou j'ai suivi de beaucoup plus pr^s mon 
Auteur que ne voudront le croire ceux qui ne consulteront pas 
Toriginal, et ou j'ai plutot retranch^ qu'ajoutd ; ce titre est : 



INTRODUCTION, xliii 

Areopagitica : A Speech for the Liberty of Unlicens'd Printing; 
to the Parliament of England ^' 

Lastly, our judgment of what power the Areopagitica has 
exercised in the world must not confine itself to the Printing 
Press and its history ; for the work is indeed not only a mag- 
nificent protest in behalf of unlicensed books, but an immortal 
defence of Free Thought. Jeremy Taylor's Liberty of Pro- 
phesying^ Locke's Letters on Toleration^ John Stuart Mill's 
Liberty — these are works of no temporary and transient value, 
however they may have been called forth by passing circum- 
stances ; and amongst these, and not the least amongst them, 
is to be ranked the Areopagitica. It is inspired by the very 
spirit of freedom. It is the own voice of a mind resolute to be 
free and fetterless, and to dare usurpation to its face. 



SECTION V. THE PRESENT EDITION. 

The text of the present edition is that of the original edition 
of 1644, with only one intentional difference, viz. ivarfaring^ foi 
wayfarings on p. 18 ; on which see the note. It was printed in 
the first instance from Mr. Arber's Reprint, and then collated 
with the 1644 edition, of which Mr. Arber's reprint was found 
to be an extremely faithful reproduction, the corrections that 
had to be made being very few and very slight. 

For the rest, I have to express great obligations to Holt 
White's edition of 18 19, as indeed every one must who studies 
the Areopagitica. His 'Prefatory Remarks, Copious Notes, and 
Excursive Illustrations,' are a very storehouse of information, of 
which frequent mention is made in the Notes, where I have, I 
believe, always acknowledged any debt incurred in this and all 
other cases. Next in value to Holt White's volume is Mr. 
Lobb's ' Modern Version of Milton's Areopagitica, with Notes, 
Appendix, and Tables : Calcutta, 1872.' Possibly enough, if 
Mr. Lobb designed his work for Indian readers, he was right in 
translating the original into modern English ; but there can 
scarcely be any Englishmen who would accept Mr. Lobb's 
' See Buckle's Civilization, ii. 225. 



xliv INTRODUCTION. 

version, however vigorously executed, in exchange for Milton's 
own. The notes contain much valuable matter ; it is a pity they 
are not made more accessible by a better arrangement. ' Mil- 
ton's Areopagitica, a Commentary,' privately printed, by Mr. R. 
C. Jebb, the Public Orator of Cambridge, for a copy of which I 
have to thank the author, contains some excellent suggestions. 
There is also an edition by Mr. T. G. Osborn, Head Master of 
New Kingswood School, Bath, with some notes that are 'mainly 
taken from sources obvious and easily accessible and make no 
pretensions to original or extensive research.' 

Lastly, I must do myself the pleasure of thanking my friend, 
Mr. Skeat, the well-known Old English scholar, for various 
valuable suggestions. I have also to thank for sundry kind 
services the Rev. G. W. Kitchin, of Christ Church, Oxford ; 
Professor Morley, University College, and Dr. Morris, King's 
College School, London ; Professor Seeley, Cambridge ; and 
Professor Ward, Owens College, Manchester. 

I Oppidans Road, Primrose Hill, London: 
August 1st, 1874. 

In the second issue of ' the present edition ' certain misprints 
have been corrected, one or two notes withdrawn as un- 
necessary, and a few additions made. 

I had intended to add some remarks on the fact that Milton 
himself, after writing this ' discourse,' acted as a Licenser of the 
Press. But the urgent demand for this edition leaves no time 
now for this consideration. 

I may just say that though I have given here the original or- 
thography, I am by no means of opinion this should always be 
done in reprinting old books for school or for general use. Mr. 
R. C. Browne, in his well-known useful edition of Milton's 
English Poems, has, I do not doubt, acted judiciously in moder- 
nising the spelling. But it will be allowed that occasionally an 
exacter reproduction should be given ; and here is one. 
Oct. 8, 1878. 



INTRODUCTION, xlv 

This Third Edition is a mere reprint of the Second. 

I had intended to consider here at some length the fact 
hastily mentioned in the Preface to the Second Edition — that 
Milton himself, after writing this ' discourse,' acted as a Licen- 
ser of the Press. But this fact is so fully discussed by Pro- 
fessor Masson in the fourth volume, pp. 324-335, and pp. 432, 
433, of his exhaustive and invaluable work ' The Life of Milton 
in Connexion with the History of his Time,' that little remains 
to be said, or rather, if one went into the subject, one could 
only repeat what has been already written : therefore I will 
merely briefly state how the case really stood, referring the 
reader for an ampler account to Professor Masson's volume. 

Milton acted as a * Licenser of the Press,' merely so far as 
this : he was for a time — from the beginning of the year 165 1 
to the beginning of 1652 — connected as a sort of supervisor 
with one of the current journals published in the interest of the 
Commonwealth. Each one of these organs had a censor 
attached to it. The Several Proceedings in Parliament was 
inspected, so to speak, and allowed by Mr. Henry Scobell, the 
Clerk of the Parliament ; A Perfect Diurnall of some Passages 
of the ArtnieSj by Mr. John Rush worth, the Army Secretary; 
A Brief e Relation of Some Affairs and Transactions ^ by Mr. 
Gualter Frost, the General Secretary of the Council of State. 
And just in the same way the Mercurius Politicus was en- 
trusted to the discretion of Mr. John Milton, Latin Secretary 
to the Council for their Letters to foreign Princes and States. 

There is no sign of Milton's acting as a Press-licenser in any 
other way. He was 'often employed to report on papers or 
pamphlets after they were published ' — to officially review them 
in fact ; but not to authorize or license them. 

It thus appears that Milton's 'licensing' meant little, or 
nothing, more than acting as a superior — a final — editor to one 
of the newspapers issued by the party to which he belonged. 
We presume that the unfriendliest eye could scarcely discover 
in such a function anything irreconcilable with the views so 
nobly and ardently asserted in the Areopagitica 
Kmo^s College, London, 
')an. 7, 1882. 



AREOPAGITICA. 



AREOPAGITICA. 



Jfor tfje ILibevtg of unU'cenc'lf printing. 

• They who to States and Governours of the Common- 
wealth direct their Speech, High Court of Parlament, or 
wanting such accesse in a private condition, write that 
which they foresee may advance the publick good, I 

5 suppose them, as at the beginning of no meane en- 
deavour, not a little alter'd and mov'd inwardly in their 
mindes: some with doubt of what will be the successe, 
others with feare of what will be the censure ; some 
with hope, others with confidence of what they have 

loto speake. vAnd me perhaps each of these disposi- 
tions, as the subject was whereon I enter'd, may have 
at other times variously affected \ and likely might in 
these formost expressions now dso disclose which of 
them sway'd most, but that the very attempt of this ad- 

15 dresse thus made, and the thought of whom it hath re- 
course to, hath got the power within me to a passion, 
farre more welcome then incidentall to a Preface. Which 
though I stay not to confesse ere any aske, I shall be 
blamelesse, if it be no other then the joy and gratulation 

20 which it brings to all who wish and promote their 

Countries liberty ; whereof this whole Discourse propos'd 

will be a certaine testimony, if not a Trophey. For this 

is not the liberty which wee can hope, that no grievance 

B 






3 AREOPAGITICA. 

ever should arise in the Commonwealth, that let no man 
in this World expect; but when complaints are freely 
heard, deeply considered, and speedily reform'd, then is 
the utmost bound of civill liberty attain'd, that wise 
5 men looke for. To which if I now manifest by the very 
sound of this which I shall utter that wee are already in 
good part arriv'd, and yet from such a steepe disadvantage 
of tyranny and superstition grounded into our principles 
as was beyond the manhood of a Ro?na7i recovery, it 

I o will bee attributed first, as is most due, to the strong 
assistance of God our deliverer, next to your faithfull 
guidance and undaunted Wisdome, Lords and Commons 
oi England. Neither is it in Gods esteeme the diminu- 
tion of his glory, when honourable things are spoken of 

15 good men and worthy Magistrates ; which if I now first 
should begin to doe, after so fair a progresse of your 
laudable deeds, and such a long obligement upon the 
whole Realme to your indefatigable vertues, I might be 
justly reckn'd among the tardiest and the unwillingest 

20 of them that praise yee. Neverthelesse there being 
three principall things, without which all praising is but 
Courtship and flattery. First, when that only is prais'd 
which is solidly worth praise : next, when greatest likeli- 
hoods are brought that such things are truly and really 

25 in those persons to whom they are ascrib'd : the other, 
when he who praises, by shewing that such his actual! 
perswasion is of whom he writes, can demonstrate that 
he flatters not, the former two of these I have hereto- 
fore endeavour'd, rescuing the employment from him 

30 who went about to impaire your merits with a triviall and 

%^ malignant Encomiuin^; the latter as belonging chiefly to 
mine owne acquittal!, that whom I so extoll'd I did not 
flatter, hath been reserv'd opportunely to this occasion. 



AREOPAGITICA. 3 

For he who freely magnifies what hath been nobly done, 
and fears not to declare as freely what might be done ^ ^^,.\ 
better, gives ye the best cov'nant of his jQ^elity, and I ' 
that his loyalest affection and his hope waits on your 
5 proceedings. His highest praising is not flattery, and 
his plainest advice is a kinde of praising; for though I 
should affirme and hold by argument, that it would fare 
better with truth, with learning, and the Commonwealth, 
if one of your publisht Orders which I should name, were 

locall'd in, yet at the same time it could not but much 
redound to the lustre of your milde and equall Govern- 
ment, when as private persons are hereby animated to 
thinke ye better pleas' d with publick advice then other 
statists have been delighted heretofore with publicke 

15 flattery. And men will then see what diff"erence there 
is between the magnanimity of a trienniall Parlament 
and that jealous hautinesse of Prelates and cabin Coun- 
sellours that usurpt of late, when as they shall observe 
yee in the midd'st of your Victories and successes more 

ao gently brooking writt'n exceptions against a voted Order 
then other Courts, which had produc't nothing worth 
memory but the weake ostentation of wealth, would have 
endur'd the least signifi'd dislike at any sudden Procla- 
mation. If I should thus farre presume upon the meek 

»5 demeanour of your civill and gentle greatnesse. Lords 
and Commons, as what your publisht Order hath directly 
said, that to gainsay, I might defend my selfe with ease, 
if any should accuse me of being new or insolent, did 
they but know how much better I find ye esteem it to 

30 imitate the old and elegant humanity of Greece then the 
barbarick pride of a Hunnish and Norwegian state-lines. 
And out of those ages, to whose polite wisdom and 
letters we ow that we are not yet Gothes and lutlanders, 

B 2 



4 AREOPAGITICA. 

I could name him who from his private house wrote 
that discourse to the Parlament of Athens, that per- 
swades them to change the forme of Democraty which 
was then establisht. Such honour was done in those 

5 dayes to men who profest the study of wisdome and elo- 
quence, not only in their own Country, but in other 
Lands, that Cities and Siniories heard them gladly and 
with great respect, if they had ought in publick to 
admonish the State. Thus did Dion Prusaeus a stranger 

10 and a privat Orator counsell the Rhodians against a 
former Edict: and I abound with other like examples, 
which to set heer would be superfluous. But if from 
the industry of a life wholly dedicated to studious labours, 
and those naturall endowments haply not the worst for 

35 two and fifty degrees of northern latitude, so much must 
be derogated as to count me not equall to any of those 
who had this priviledge, I would obtain to be thought 
not so inferior as your selves are superior to the most of 
them who receiv'd their counsell: and how farre you 

20 excell them, be assur'd, Lords and Commons, there can 
no greater testimony appear then when your prudent 
spirit acknowledges and obeyes the voice of reason from 
what quarter soever it be heard speaking; and renders 
ye as willing to repeal any Act of your ewn setting forth 

25 as any set forth by your Predecessors. 

If ye be thus resolv'd, as it were injury to thinke ye 
were not, I know not what should withhold me from 
presenting ye with a fit instance wherein to shew both 
that love of truth which ye eminently professe, and that 

30 uprightnesse of yotir judgement which is not wont to 
be partiall to your selves, by judging over again that 
Order which ye have ordain'd to regulate Printing : That 
no Book, pamphlet, or paper shall he henceforth Printed^ 



AREOPAGITICA. 5 

unksse the same be first approved and licenct by such, or at 
least one of such as shall be thereto appointed. For that 
part which preserves justly every mans Copy to himselfe, 
or provides for the poor, I touch not, only wish they be 

5 not made pretenses to abuse and persecute honest and 
painfull Men, who offend not in either of these particu- 
lars. But that other clause of Licencing Books, which 
we thought had dy'd with his brother quadragesimal and 
matrimonial when the Prelats expir'd, I shall now attend 

lo with such a Homily as shall lay before ye, first the in - (T: 
ventors of it to bee those whom ye will be loath to own ; 
n ext what is to be thought in generall of reading, what \r/ 
ever sort the Books be ; and that this Order avails no- ; 
thing to the suppressing of scandalous, seditious, and 

15 libellous Books, which were mainly intended to be sup- 
I)rest; last, that it will be primely to the discourage- vjj^' 
ment of all learning, and the stop of Truth, not only by 
the disexercising and blunting our abilities in what we 
know already, but by hindring and cropping the discovery 

20 that might bee yet further made both in religious and 
civill Wisdome. 

I deny not but that it is of greatest concernment, 
the Church an^ Commonwealth, to have a vigilant; 
how Bookes de^eihe "tlMfeselves as well as men ; 

25 thereafter to confine, imprison, a nd do sharpest ju sticL^—^^ 
on them as malefactors : JFor Books are not absolutely \^^\a 
'dead'things, but doe contain a potencie of life in them aiA* 
to be as active as that soule was whose progeny they are ; 
nay, they do preserve as in a violl the purest efficacie 

30 and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. 
I know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive, 
as those fabulous Dragons teeth ; and being sown up 
and down, may chance to spring up armed men. And 



yt^/^^^ 



f 



6 AREOPAGITICA. 

yet on the other hand, unlesse warinesse be us'd, as good 
almost kill a Man as kill a good Book j who kills a Man 
kills a reasonable creature, Gods Image; but hee who 
destroyes a good Booke, kills reason it selfe, kills the 

5 Image of God as it were in the eye. Many a man lives 
a burden to the Earth ; but a good Booke is the pretious 
life-blood of a master spirit, imbalm'd and treasur'd up 
on purpose to a life beyond life. 'Tis true, no age can 
restore a life, whereof perhaps there is no great losse ; 

o and revolutions of ages doe not oft recover the losse of 
a rejected truth, for the want of which whole Nations 
fare the worsor We shouIdT)e ^^itarylheretore what per- 
secution we raise against the living labours of publick 
men, how we spill that season'd life of man preserv'd 

IS and stor'd up in Books; since we see a kinde of homicide 
may be thus committed, sometimes a martyrdome, and 
if it extend to the whole impression, a kinde of massacre, 
whereof the execution ends not in the slaying of an ele- 
mentall life, but strikes at that ethereall and fift essence, 

20 the breath of reason it selfe, slaies an immortality rather 
then a life. But lest I should be condemned of intro- 
ducing licence, while I oppose Licencing, I refuse not 
the paines to be so much Historicall as will serve to 
shew what hath been done by ancient and famous Com- 

25 monwealths against this disorder, till the very time that 
this project of licencing crept out of the Inquisition, was 
catcht up by our Prelates, and hath caught some of our 
Presbyters. 

In Athens where Books and Wits were ever busier 

othen in any other part of Greece, I finde but only two 
sorts of writings which the Magistrate car'd to take no- 
tice of: those either blasphemous and Atheisticall, or 
Libellous. Thus the Books of Protagoras were by the 



AREOPAGITICA, 7 

Judges of Areopagus commanded to be burnt, and him- 
selfe banisht the territory, for a discourse begun with 
his confessing not to know whether there were gods^ or 
whether not: And against defaming, it was decreed that 
5 none should be traduc'd by name, as was the manner 
of Vetus Co?noedia, whereby we may guesse how they 
censur'd hbelling: And this course was quick enough, 
as Cicero writes, to quell both the desperate wits of 
other Atheists, and the open way of defaming, as the 

I o event shew'd. Of other sects and opinions though 
tending to voluptuousnesse and the denying of divine 
providence they tooke no heed. Therefore we do not 
read that either Epicurus, or that libertine school of 
Cyre?ie, or what the Cytiick impudence utter'd, was ever 

15 questioned by the Laws. Neither is it recorded that the 
writings of those old Comedians were supprest, though 
the acting of them were forbid; and that Plato com- 
mended the reading oi Aristophanes the loosest of them 
all to his royall scholler Dionysius, is commonly known, 

20 and may be excus'd, if holy Chrysostome, as is reported, 
nightly studied so much the same Author and had the 
art to cleanse a scurrilous vehemence into the stile of a 
rousing Sermon. That other leading City of Greece^ 
Lacedaemon, considering that Lycurgus their Law-giver 

25 was so addicted to elegant learning as to have been 
the first that brought out of Ionia the scatter'd workes 
of Horner^ and sent the Poet Thales from Greet to pre- 
pare and mollifie the Spartan surlinesse with his smooth 
songs and odes, the better to plant among them law 

30 and civility, it is to be wonder'd how museless and un- 
bookish they were, minding nought but the feats of 
Warre. There needed no licencing of Books among 
them, for they dislik'd all but their owne Laconick Apo- 



8 AREOPAGITICA, 

ihegmSj and took a slight occasion to chase Archtlochus 
out of their City, perhaps for composing in a higher 
straine then their owne souldierly ballats and roundels 
could reach to ; Or if it were for his broad verses, they 

5 were not therein so cautious but they were as dissolute 
in their promiscuous conversing; whence Euripides af- 
firmes in Andromache, that their women were all un- 
chaste. Thus much may give us light after what sort 
Bookes were prohibited among the Greeks. The Ro- 

lomans also for many ages train'd up only to a military 
roughnes, resembling most of the Lacedaemonian guise, 
knew of learning little but what their twelve Tables, 
and the Pontifick College with their Augurs and Flamins 
taught them in Religion and Law, so unacquainted with 

15 other learning that when Carneades and Criiolaus with 
the Stoick Diogenes, comming Embassadors to Rome, 
tooke thereby occasion to give the City a tast of their 
Philosophy, they were suspected for seducers by no lesse 
a man then Cato the Censor, who mov'd it in the Senat 

20 to dismisse them speedily, and to banish all such Attick 
bablers out of Italy. But Scipio and others of the 
noblest Senators withstood him and his old Sahin aus- 
terity ; honour'd and admir'd the men ; and the Censor 
himself at last in his old age fell to the study of that 

25 whereof before hee was so scrupulous. And yet at the 

' same time Naevius and Plautus the first Latine come- 
dians had fill'd the City with all the borrow'd Scenes of 
Menander and Philemo7t. Then began to be considered 
there also what was to be don to libellous books and 

30 Authors ; for Naevius was quickly cast into prison'" for 
his unbridl'd pen, and releas'd by the Tribunes upon his 
recantation; We read also that libels were burnt, and 
the makers punisht by Augustus, The like severity no 



AREOPAGITICA. 9 

doubt was us'd if ought were impiously writt'n against 
their esteemed gods. Except in these two points, how 
the world went in Books, the Magistral kept no reck- 
ning. And therefore Lucretius without impeachment 
5 versifies his Epicurism to Memmius, and had the honour 
to be set forth the second time by Cicero so great a 
father of the Commonwealth ; although himselfe disputes 
against that opinion in his own writings. Nor was the 
Satyricall sharpnesse, or naked plainnes of Lucilius^ or 

10 Catullus, or Flaccus, by any order prohibited. And foi 
matters of State, the story of Titius Livius, though it 
extoll'd that part which Pompey held, was not therefore 
supprest by Octavius Caesar of the other Faction. But 
that Naso was by him banisht in his old age for the 

15 wanton Poems of his youth, was but a meer covert of 
State over some secret cause; and besides, the Books 
were neither banisht nor call'd in. From hence we shall 
meet with little else but tyranny in the Roman Empire, 
that we may not marvell if not so often bad as good 

20 Books were silenc't. I shall therefore deem to have 
bin large anough in producing what among the ancients 
was punishable to write, save only which all other argu- 
ments were free to treat on. 

By this time the Emperours were become Christians, 

25 whose discipline in tliis point I doe not finde to have 
bin more severe then what was formerly in practice. 
The Books of those whom they took to be grand Here- 
ticks were examin'd, refuted, and condemn'd in the 
generall Councels ; and not till then were prohibited, 

30 or burnt by autority of .the Emperor. As for the 
writings of Heathen authors, unlesse they were plaine 
invectives against Christianity, as those of Porpliyrius 
and ProcluSj they met with no interdict that can be 



lO AREOPAGITICA. 

cited till about the year 400 in a Carthaginian Councel, 
wherein Bishops themselves were forbid to read the 
Books of Gentiles, but Heresies they might read : while 
others long before them on the contrary scrupl'd more 
5 the Books of Hereticks then of Gentiles. And that 
the primitive Councels and Bishops were wont only to 
declare what Books were not commendable, passing no 
furder, but leaving it to each ones conscience to read 
or to lay by, till after the year 800, is observ'd already by 

\o Padre Paolo the great unmasker of the Trentine Councel. 
After which time the Popes of Rome, engrossing what 
they pleas'd of Politicall rule into their owne hands, 
extended their dominion over mens eyes, as they had 
before over their judgements, burning and prohibiting 

15 to be read what they fansied not; yet sparing in their 
censures, and the Books not many which they so dealt 
with ; till Martin the 5. by his Bull not only prohibited, 
but was the first that excommunicated the reading of 
hereticall Books ; for about that time Wicklef and Husse 

20 growing terrible were they who first drove the Papall 
Court to a stricter policy of prohibiting. Which cours 
Leo the 10 and his successors follow'd, untill the Coun- 
cell of Trent and the Spanish Inquisition engendring 
together brought forth or perfeted those Catalogues 

25 and expurging Indexes that rake through the entrails 
of many an old good Author with a violation wors then 
any could be ofifer'd to his tomb. Nor did they stay 
in matters Hereticall, but any subject that was not to 
their palat they either condemn'd in a prohibition, or 

30 had it strait into the new Purgatory of an Index. To 
fill up the measure of encroachment, their last inven- 
tion was to ordain that no Book, pamphlet, or paper 
should be Printed (as if S. Peter had bequeath'd them 



AREOPAGITICA. II 

the keys of the Presse also out of Paradise) unlesse it 
were approv'd and Hcenc't under the hands of 2 or 3 
glutton Friers. For example : 

Let the Chancellor Ctni be pleas'd to see if in this 
5 present work be contain'd ought that may withstand the 
Printing, 

Vincent Rabatta Vicar of Florence. 

I have seen this present work, and finde nothing athwart 
the Catholick faith and good manners; In witnesse whereof 
10 1 have given, &c. 

Nicolb Cini, Chancellor of Florence. 

Attending the precedent relation, it is allow'd that this 
present work of Davanzaii may be Printed, 

Vincent Rabatta, &c. 
15 It may be Printed, July 15. 

Friar Simon Mompei d' Amelia Chancellor of 
the holy office in Florence. 

Sure they have a conceit, if he of the bottomlesse pit had 
not long since broke prison, that this quadruple exorcism 
20 would barre him down. I feare their next designe will 
be to get into their custody the licencing of that which 
they say ^ Claudius intended, but went not through with. 
Voutsafe to see another of their forms the Roman stamp : 

Imprimatur, If it seem good to the reverend Master of 
35 the holy Palace, 

Belcastro, Viceregent. 
Imprimatur, 

Friar Nicolb Rodolphi Master of the holy Palace. 
Sometimes 5 Imprimaturs are seen together dialoguewise in 

• Quo veniam daret flatum crepitnmque ventris in convivio emittendi. 
Sueton. in Claudio. 



12 AREOPAGITICA. 

the Piatza of one Title page, complementing and ducking 
each to other with their shav'n reverences, whether the 
Author, who stands by in perplexity at the foot of his 
Epistle, shall to the Presse or to the spunge. These are 

5 the prety responsories, these are the deare Antiphonies that 
so bewitcht of late our Prelats and their Chaplaines with 
the goodly Eccho they made ; and besotted us to the gay 
imitation of a lordly Imprimatur^ one from Lambeth 
house, another from the West end of Pauls ; so apishly 

10 Romanizing that the word of command still was set 
downe in Latine ; as if the learned Grammaticall pen 
that wrote it, would cast no ink without Latine; or 
perhaps, as they thought, because no vulgar tongue was 
worthy to expresse the pure conceit of an Imprimatur ; 

15 but rather, as I hope, for that our English, the language 
of men ever famous and formost in the achievements of 
liberty, will not easily finde servile letters anow to spell 
such a dictatorie presumption English. And thus ye have 
the Inventors and the originall of Book-licen^ilig ript 

fup, and drawn as lineally as any pedigree. \We have\ 
it not, that can be heard of, from any ancient State, \ 
or politic, or Church, nor by any Statute left us by our 11 
Ancestors, elder or later; nor from the moderne custom / 
y of any reformed Citty, or Church abroad ; but from the / 
V^ost Antichristian Councel, and the most tyrannous / 

Inquisition that ever inquir'd. tTh then iJookswere 
V*rvcr"as Ireely admitted irlto tKe World as any other 
birth; the issue of the brain was no more stifl'd then 
the issue of the womb ; no envious Juno sate cros-leg'd 
30 over the nativity of any mans intellectual off- spring; 
but if it prov'd a Monster, who denies but that it was 
justly burnt, or sunk into the Sea. But that a Book, 
in wors condition then a peccant soul, should be to 



AREOPAGTTTCA. 13 

Stand before a Jury ere it be borne to the World, and 
undergo yet in darknesse the judgefnent of Radamanth 
and his Colleagues, ere it can passe the ferry backward 
into light, was never heard before, till that mysterious 
5 iniquity, provokt and troubl'd at the first entrance of 
Reformation, sought out new limbo's and new hells 
wherein they might include our Books also within the 
number of their damned. And this was the rare morSell 
so officiously snatcht up and so ilfavourdly imitated by 

10 our inquisiturient Bishops and the attendant minorites 
their Chaplains. That ye like not now these most 
certain Authors of this licencing order, and that all 
sinister intention was farre distant from your thoughts, 
when ye were importun'd the passing it, all men who 

15 know the integrity of your actions, and how ye honour 
Truth, will clear yee readily. 

But some will say, what though the Inventors were 
bad, the thing for all that may be good? It may so; 
yet if that thing be no such deep invention, but obvious, 

20 and easie for any man to light on, and yet best and 
wisest Commonwealths through all ages and occasions 
have forborne to use it, and falsest seducers and op- 
pressors of men were the first who tooke it up, and to 
no other purpose but to obstruct and hinder the first 

25 approach of Reformation, I am of those who beleeve 
it will be a harder alchymy then Lullius ever knew, 
to sublimat any good use out of such an invention. 
Yet this only is what I request to gain from this reason, 
that it may be held a dangerous and suspicious fruit, 

30 as certainly it deserves, for the tree that bore it, untill 
I can dissect one by one the properties it has. But I 
have first to finish as was propounded, what is to be 
thought in generall of reading Books, what ever sort 



14 AREOPAGITICA, 

they be, and whether be more the benefit or the fiarm 
that thence proceeds ? 

Not to insist upon the examples of Moses, Daniel 
and Paul, who were skilfull in all the learning of the 
5 Egyptians, Caldeans, and Greeks, which could not 
probably be without reading their Books of all sorts, 
in Paul especially, who thought it no defilement to 
insert into holy Scripture the sentences of three Greek 
Poets and one of them a Tragedian, the question 

lowas notwithstanding sometimes controverted among the 
Primitive Doctors, but with great odds on that side 
which affirm'd it both lawfuU and profitable, as was 
then evidently perceiv'd, when Julian the Apostat and 
suttlest enemy to our faith made a decree forbidding 

IS Christians the study of heathen learning; for, said he, 
they wound us with our own weapons, and with our 
owne arts and sciences they overcome us. And indeed 
the Christians were put so to their shifts by this crafty 
means, and so much in danger to decline into all igno- 

20 ranee, that the two Apollinarii were fain as a man 
may say to coin all the seven liberall Sciences out 
of the Bible, reducing it into divers forms of Orations, 
Poems, Dialogues, ev'n to tRe calculating of a new 
Christian Grammar. But saith the Historian Socrates : 

35 The providence of God provided better then the in- 
dustry of Apollinarius and his son by taking awa^ 
illiter^t Ja w with ^JJie_ lijeof him who devis'd it.l So 

I great an injury they then held it to De deprtv'a of 

\ He^ 

jounc 



Hellenick learning; and t hought it a persecutionmor^ 
JO undermining and secretly decaying thfe Church lEeii the 
open cruelty of Decius or Dioclesian. And perhaps it 
was the same politick drift that the Divell whipt St. Jerom 
in a lenten dream, for reading Cicero ; or else it was a 



AREOPAGTTICA. 1 5 

fantasm bred by the feaver which had then seis'd him. 
For had an Angel bin his discipliner, unlesse it were 
for dwelling too much upon Ciceronianisms, and had 
chastiz'd the reading, not the vanity, it had bin plainly 
5 partiall, first, to correct him for grave Cicero, and not 
for scurrill Plautus whom he confesses to have bin 
reading not long before, next, to correct him only, 
and let so many more ancient Fathers wax old in those 
pleasant and florid studies without the lash of such a 

10 tutoring apparition;, insomuch that Basil teaches how 
some good use may be made of Margites a sportfull 
Poem, not now extant, writ by Homer; and why not 
then of Morgajiie an Italian Romanze much to the 
same purpose ? But if it be agreed we shall be try'd by 

15 visions, there is a vision recorded by Eusehius far an- 
cienter then this tale oi Jerom to the nun Eusiochium^ 
and besides has nothing of a feavor in it. Dionysius 
Alexandrinus was about the year 240 a person of great 
name in the Church for piety and learning, who had 

20 wont to avail himself much against hcreticks by being 
conversant in their Books; untill a certain Presbyter 
laid it scrupulously to his conscience, how he durst 
venture himselfe among those defiling volumes. The 
worthy man loath to give ofi'ence fell into a new de- 

25 bate with himselfe what was to be thought ; when sud- 
denly a vision sent from God, it is his own Epistle 
that so averrs it, confirm'd him in these words: Read 
any books what ever come to thy hands, for thou art 
sufiicient both to judge aright and to examine each 

30 matter. To this revelation he assented the sooner, as 
he confesses, because it was answerable to that of the 
Aposde to the Thessalonians : Prove all things, hold 
fast that which is good. And he might have added 



1 6 AREOPAGITICA. 

another remarkable saying of the same Author : To the 
'pure all things are pure, not only meats and drinks, but 
all kinde of knowledge whether of good or evill; the 
knowledge cannot defile, nor consequently the books, 
5 if the will and conscience be not defil'd. For books 
are as meats and viands are, some of good, some of 
evill substance; and yet God in that unapocryphalJ 
vision said without exception. Rise Peter^ kill and eat, 
leaving the choice to each mans discretion. Whole- 

losome meats to a vitiated stomack differ little or nothing 
from unwholesome ; and best books to a naughty mind 
are not unappliable to occasions of evill. Bad meats 
will scarce breed good nourishment in the healthiest 
concoction; but herein the difference is of bad books, 

15 that they to a discreet and judicious Reader serve in 
many respects to discover, to confute, to forewarn, and 
to illustrate. Wherof what better witnes can ye expect 
I should produce then one of your own now sitting 
in Parlament, the chief of learned men reputed in 

20 this Land, Mr. Selden, whose volume of naturall and 
national laws proves, not only by great autorities 
Irought together, but by exquisite reasons and theorems 
^Imost mathematically demonstrative, that all opinions, 
ea, errors, known, read, and collated, are of main ser- 

2 yice and assistance toward the speedy attainment of 
^hat is truest. I conceive therefore, that when God 
did enlarge the universall diet of mans body, saving 
ev ^er the rules of temperance, he then also, as before, 
left arbitrary the dyeting knd repasting of our minds; 

30 as wherein every mature man might have to exercise his 
owne leading capacity. How great a vertue is tem- 
perance, how much of moment through the whole life 
of man 1 yet God committs the managing so great a 



I 




AREOPAGITICA. 1 7 

trusty without particular Law or prescription, wholly to 
the demeanour of every grown man. And therefore 
when he himself tabl'd the Jews from heaven, that 
Omer which was every mans daily portion of Manna is 

5 computed to have bin more then might have welLsuffic'd 
'th6 heartiest feeder thrice as »many meals, j For those 
ictions, which enter into a man rather then issue out 
of him and therefore defile not, God uses not to caj 
bvat under a perpetuall childhood of prescription,^ 

1 tnistg4tkB^with^t]l£--fflfc-ef-rc ubUii to be liib uwji di( 
there were but little work left for preaching, if law and 
compulsion show^ grow so fast upon those things which 
hertofore were govern'd only by exhortation. Salomoji 
informs us that much reading is a wearines to the flesh ; 

15 but neither he nor other inspir'd author tells us that 
such or such reading is unlawfull: yet certainly had 
God thought good to limit us herein, it had bin much 
more expedient to have told us what was unlawfull 
then what was wearisome. As for the burning of those 

aoEphesian books by St. Pauls converts, tis reply'd the 
books were magick, the Syriack so renders them. It 
was a privat act, a voluntary act, and leaves us to 
a voluntary imitation; the men in remorse burnt those 
books which were their own ; the Magistrat by this ex- 

25 ample is not appointed ; these men practiz'd the books, 
another might perhaps have read them in some sort use- 
fully. Good and evill we know in the field of this World 
grow up together almost inseparably; and the knowledge 
of good is so involv'd and interwoven with the know- 

30 ledge of evill and in, so many cunning resemblances 
hardly to be discern'd, that those confused seeds, which 
were impos'd on Psyche as an incessant labour to cull 
* Read ' should.* 

c 



1 8 AREOPAGITICA, 

out and sort asunder, were not more intermixt. It 
was from out the rinde of one apple tasted that the 
knowledge of good and evill as two twins cleaving to- 
gether leapt forth into the World. And perhaps this is 

5 that doom which Adam fell into of knowing good and 
evill, that is to say of J^nowing good by evill. As 
therefore the state of man now is, what wisdome can 
there be to choose, what continence to forbeare with- 
out the knowledge of evill? He that can apprehend 

4 and consider vice with all her baits and seeming plea- 
sures, and yet abstain, and yet distinguish, and yet pre- 
fer that which is truly better, he is the true wayfaring ^ 
Christian. I cannot praise a fugitive and cloister' d 
\ertue, unexercis'd and unbreath'd, that never sallies 

15 out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race, 
where that immortall garland is to be run for not 
without dust and heat. Assuredly we bring not inno- 
cence into the world, we bring impurity much rather: 
that which purifies us is triallj anjl.^tiiaU„.is.^bjrwhat is 

20 contrary. That vertue therefore which is but a young- 
ling in the contemplation of evill, and knows not the 
utmost that vice promises to her followers, and rejects 
it, is but a blank vertue, not a pure ; her whitenesse is 
but an excrementall whitenesse ; Which was the reason 

25 why our sage and serious Poet Spencer^ whom I dare 
be known to think a better teacher then Scotus or 
Aquinas, describing true temperance under the person 
of Guion, brings him in with his palmer through the 
cave of Mammon and the bowr of earthly blisse, that 

30 he might see and know, and yet abstain. Since there- 
fore the knowledge and survay of vice is in this world 
so necessary to the constituting of human vertue, and 
^ Read ' warfaring'? See note. 



AREOPAGITICA. 19 

the scanning of error to the confirmation of truth, how 
can we more safely and with lesse danger scout into 
the regions of sin and falsity then by reading all man- 
ner of tractats, and hearing all manner of reason ? And 
5 this is the benefit which may be had of books promis- 
cuously read. But jofj.he_ harm that .may.,xes.ult.iience 
three kinds are usually reckn'd:if£ First, is fear'd the 
infection that may spread ; but then all human learning 
and controversie in religious points must remove out 

10 of the world, yea, the Bible it selfe; for that oftimes 
relates blasphemy not nicely, it describes the carnal! 

. sense of wicked men not unelegantly, it brings in 
holiest men passionately murmuring against providence 
through all the arguments of Epicurus : in other great 

15 disputes it answers dubiously and darkly to the com- 
mon reader: And ask a Talmudest what ails the 
modesty of his marginall Keri, that Moses and all the 
Prophets cannot perswade him to pronounce the tex- 
tuall Chetiv. For these causes we all know the Bible 

20 it selfe put by the Papist into the first rank of prohi- 
bited books. The ancientest Fathers must be next 
removed, as Clement of Alexandria^ and that Eusehian 
book of Evangelick preparation, transmitting our ears 
through a hoard of heathenish obscenities to receive 

25 the Gospel Who finds not that Irenaeus, Epiphanius, 
Jerom, and others discover more heresies then they 
well confute, and that oft for heresie which is the truer 
opinion? Nor boots it to say for these, and all the 
heathen Writers of greatest infection, if it must be 

3c thought so, with whom is bound up the life of human 

learning, that they writ in an unknown tongue, so long 

as we are sure those languages are known as well to 

the worst of men, who are both most able and most 

c 2 



20 AREOPAGITTCA. 

diligent to instill the poison they suck, first into the 
Courts of Princes, acquainting them with the choicest 
delights and criticisms of sin. As perhaps did that 
Petronius whom Nero call'd his Arbiter^ the Master of 
5 his revels ; and that notorious ribald of Arezzo, dreaded, 
and yet dear to the Italian Courtiers. I name not him 
for posterities sake, whom Harry the 8. nam'd in merri- 
ment his Vicar of hell. By which compendious way all 
the contagion that foreine books can infuse will finde a 

10 passage to the people farre easier and shorter then an 
Indian voyage, though it could be sail'd either by the 
North of Cataio Eastward or of Canada Westward, while 
our Spanish licencing gags the English presse never so 
severely. But on the other side, that infection which is( 

15 from books of controversie in Religion, is more doubtfull; 
and dangerous to the learned then to the ignorant; and! 
yet those books must be permitted untoucht by the* 
licencer. It will be hard to instance where any ignorant 
man hath bin ever seduc't by Papisticall book in English, 

aounlesse it were commended and expounded to him by 

some of that Clergy; and indeed all such tractats 

whether false or true are as the Prophesie of Isaiah was 

, to the Eunuch, not to be understood without a guide. But 

of our Priests and Doctors how many have bin corrupted 

25 by studying the comments of Jesuits and Sorbonists, and 
how fast they could transfuse that corruption into the 
people, our experience is both late and sad. It is not 
forgot since the acute and distinct Arminius was per- 
verted meerly by the perusing of a namelesse discerns 

30 writt'n at Del/, which at first he took in hand to confute. 

freeing therefore that those books, and those in great 

/ abundance which are likeliest to taint both life and 

I doctrine, camTi£t_be_supprestjw[itl^^ learning 



AREOPAGfTICA, 21 

and of all ability in disputation, and that these books of 
either sort are most and soonest catching to the learned, 
from whom to the common people what ever is hereticall 
or dissolute may quickly be convey'd, and that evill 

5 manners are as perfectly learnt without books a thousand 
other ways which cannot be stopt, and evill doctrine not 
with books can propagate, except a teacher guide, which 
he might also doe without writing and so beyond 
prohibiting, I am not able to unfold how this cautelous 

10 enterprise of licencing can be exempted from the number 
of vain and impossible attempts. J And he who were 



pleaslintiy disposM could not well avoid to lik'n it to the 
exploit of that gallant man who thought to pound up the 
crows by shutting his Parkgate. - Besides ^nother Jn- 

15 convenience; if learned men be the first receivers out of 
books and dispredders both of vice and error, how shaP 
the licencers themselves be confided in, unlesse we can 
conferr upon them, or they assume to themselves above 
all others in the Land, the grace of infallibility and un- 

ao corruptednesse ? And again if it be true, that a wise 
man like a good refiner can gather gold out of the 
drossiest volume, and that a fool will be a fool with the 
best book, yea, or without book, there is no reason that 
we should deprive a wise man of any advantage to his 

25wisdome, while we seek to restrain from a fool that I 
which being restrain'd will be no hindrance to his folly. 1 
For if there should be so much exactnesse always us'd to 
keep that from him which is unfit for his reading, we 
should in the judgement of Aristotle not only but of 

10 Salomon and of our Saviour, not voutsafe him good 
precepts, and by consequence not willingly admit him to 
good books, as being certain that a wise man will make 
better use of an idle pamphlet then a fool will do of 



22 AREOPAGITICA. 

sacred Scripture. \^ 'Tis next alleg'd we must not expose 
our selves to temptations without necessity, and next to 
that, not imploy our time in vain things. To both these 
objections one answer will serve, out of the grounds 
5 already laid, that to all men such books are not temp- 
tations, nor vanities ; but usefull drugs and materialls 
wherewith to temper and compose effective and strong 
med'cins, which mans life cannot want. The rest, as 
children and childish men, who have not the art to 

lo quahfie and prepare these working mineralls, well may be 
exhorted to forbear, but hinder'd forcibly they cannot be 
by all the licencing that Sainted Inquisition could ever 
yet contrive ; which is what I promis'd to deliver next : 

5, That this order of licencing coDduces, nothing to the end 

15 for which it was fram'd; and hath almost p.revented me rv-tU^ 
by being clear already while thus much hath bin ex- 
plaining. See the ingenuity of Truth, who when she gets 
a free and willing hand, opens her self faster then the 
pace of method and discours can overtake her. It was 

20 the task which I began with, To shew that no Nation, or i 
well instituted State, if they valu'd books at all, did ever f 
use this way of licencing ; and it might be answer'd, that 
this is a piece of prudence lately discovered ; To which I 
return, that as it was a thing slight and obvious to think 

25 on, so if it had bin difficult to finde out, there wanted not 
among them long since who suggested such a cours; 
which they not following, leave us a pattern of their 
judgement, th^t it was not the not knowing,^but the not 
approving, which v^^as the, cSrUse .of. Jjbydt . not it, 

30 Plato^ a man of high autority indeed, but least of all for 
his Commonwealth, in the book of his laws, which no 
City ever yet receiy'd, fed his fancie with making many 
edicts to his ayrie Burgomasters, which they who other- 



AREOPAGITICA. - 23 

wise admire him wish had bin rather buried and 
excus'd in the genial cups of an Academick night-sitting. 
By which laws he seems to tolerat no kind of learning, 
but by unalterable decree, consisting most of practicall 
5 traditions, to the attainment whereof a Library of smaller 
bulk then his own dialogues would be abundant. And 
there also enacts that no Poet should so much as read 
to any privat man what he had writt'n, untill the Judges 
and Law-keepers had seen it and allow'd it; But that 

10 Plaio meant this Law peculiarly to that Commonwealth 
which he had imagin'd, and to no other, is evident. 
Why was he not else a Law-giver to himself, but a 
transgressor, and to be expell'd by his own Magistrats, 
both for the wanton epigrams and dialogues which he 

IS made, and his perpetuall reading of Sophron Mimus 
and Aristophanes, books of grossest infamy, and also 
for commending the latter of them, though he were 
the malicious libeller of his chief friends, to be read by 
the Tyrant Dionysius, who had little need of such 

20 trash to spend his time on? But that he knew this 
licencing of Poems had reference and dependence to 
many other proviso's there set down in his fancied 
republic, which in this world could have no place; and 
so neither he himself, nor any Magistrat, or City ever 

25 imitated that cours, which tak'n apart from those 
other collaterall injunctions must needs be vain and 
fruitlesse. For if they fell upon one kind of strictnesse, 
unlesse their care were equall to regulat all other things 
of like aptnes to corrupt the mind, that single endea- 

30 vour they knew would be but a fond labour : to shut 
and fortifie one gate against corruption, and be neces- 
sitated to leave others round about wide open. If we 
think to regulat Printing, thereby to rectifie manners, 



24 - ARF.OPAGTTTCA. 

(we must regulat all recreations and pastimes, all that is 
delightfull to man. No musick must be heard, no song 
be set or sung, but what is grave and Dorick. There 
must be licencing dancers, that no gesture, motion, or 

5 deportment be taught our youth but what by their al- 
lowance shall be thought honest; for such Plato was 
provided of. It will ask more then the work of twenty 
licencers to examin all the lutes, the violins, and the 
ghittarrs in every house; they must not be suffered to 

10 prattle as they doe, but must be licenc'd what they may 
say. And who shall silence all the airs and madrigalls, 
that whisper softnes in chambers? The Windows also, 
and the Balconis must be thought on ; there are shrewd 
books with dangerous Frontispices set to sale; who 

15 shall prohibit them? shall twenty licencers? The vil- 
lages also must have their visitors to enquire what lec- 
tures the bagpipe and the rebbeck reads, ev*n to the 
ballatry and the gammuth of every mtinicipal fidler, 
for these are the Countrymans Arcadia s and his Monte 

20 Mayors. Next, what more Nationall corruption, for 
which England hears ill abroad, then houshold gluttony? 
who shall be the rectors of our daily rioting ? and what 
shall be done to inhibit the multitudes that frequent 
those houses where drunk'nes is sold and harbour'd? 

25 Our garments also should be referr'd to the licencing of 
some more sober work-masters to see them cut into a 
lesse wanton garb. Who shall regulat all the mixt con- 
versation of our youth, male and female together, as is 
the fashion of this Country ? who shall still appoint what 

30 shall be discours'd, what presumed, and no furder? 
Lastly, who shall forbid and separat all idle resort, all 
evill company? These things will be, and must be; 
but how they shall be lest hurtfuU, how lest enticing, 



AREOPAGTTTCA. 25 

herein consists the grave and governing wisdom of a 
State. To sequester out of the world into Atlantick and 
Eutopian polities, which never can be drawn into use, 
will not mend our condition; but to ordain wisely as 

5 in this world of evill, in 'the midd'st whereof God hath 
plac't us unavoidably. Nor is it Plato s licencing of books 
will doe this, which necessarily pulls along with it so 
many other kinds of licencing, as will make us all both 
ridiculous and weary, and yet frustrat; but those unwrit- 

10 t'n, or at least unconstraining laws of vertuous education, 
religious and civill nurture, which Plato there mentions 
as the bonds and ligaments of the Commonwealth, the 
pillars and the sustainers of every writt'n Statute ; these 
they be which will bear chief sway in such matters as 

15 these, when all licencing will be easily eluded. Impu- 
nity and remissenes, for certain, are the bane of a Com 
monwealth ; but here the great art lyes to discern in what 
the law is to bid restraint and punishment, and in what 
things perswasion only is to work. If every action 

20 which is good, or evill in man at ripe years, were to be 
under pittance and prescription and compulsion, what 
were vertue but a name, what praise could be then due 
to well-doing, what grammercy to be sober, just, or 
continent? Many there be that complain of divin 

25 Providence for suffering Adam to transgresse. Foolish 
tongues I when God gave him reason, he gave him free- 
dom to choose, for reason is but choosing; he had bin 
else a meer artificiall Adam, such an Adam as he is in 
the motions. We our selves esteem not of that obedi- 

30 ence or love or gift, which is of force : God therefore 
left him free, set before him a provoking object, ever 
almost in his eyes ; herein consisted his merit, herein the 
right of his reward, the praise of his abstinence. Where- 



36 AREOPAGITICA. 

fore did he creat passions within us, pleasures round 
about us, but that these rightly temper'd are the very 
ingredients of vertu? They are not skilful! considerers 
pf human things, who imagin to remove sin by remov- 

5 ing the matter of sin ; for, besides that it is a huge heap 
increasing under the very act of diminishing though 
some part of it may for a time be withdrawn from some 
persons, it cannot from all in such a universall thing as 
books are ; and when this is done, yet the sin remains 

lo entire. Though ye take from a covetous man all his 
treasure, he has yet one Jewell left : ye cannot bereave 
him of his covetousnesse. Banish all objects of lust, 
shut up all youth into the severest discipline that can 
be exercis'd in any hermitage, ye cannot make them 

15 chaste that came not thither so; such great care and 
wisdom is requir'd to the right managing of this point. 
Suppose we could expell sin by this means; look how 
much we thus expell of sin, so much we expell of ver- 
tue : for the matter of them both is the same ; remove 

eothat, and ye remove them both alike. This justifies 
the high providence of God, who though he command 

I us temperance, justice, continence, yet powrs out before 
us ev'n to a profusenes all desirable things, and gives 
us minds that can wander beyond all limit and satiety. 

25 Why should we then affect a rigor contrary to the man- 
ner of God and of nature, by abridging or scanting 
those means, which books freely permitted are, both 
to the triall of vertue and the exercise of truth.? It 
would be better done to learn that the law must needs 

30 be frivolous which goes to restrain things uncertainly 
and yet equally working to good and to ' evill. And 
were I the chooser, a dram of well-doing should be pre- 
ferr'd before many times as much the forcible hindrance 



AREOPAGITICA, 27 

of evill-doing. For Gpd„ sure . esteems the growth and 
compleating of one vertuous person more then the 
resjraint__of ten vitious. And albeit what ever thing we 
hear or see, sitting, walking, travelling, or conversing 

5 may be fitly call'd our book, and is of the same effect 
that writings are, yet grant the thing to be prohibited 
were only books, it appears that this order hitherto is 
far insufficient to the end which it intends. Do we not 
see, not once or oftner, but weekly that continu'd Court- 

lolibell against the Parlament and City, Printed, as the 
wet sheets can witnes, and dispers't among us for all 
that licencing can doe? yet this is the prime service a 
man would think, wherein this order should give proof 
of it self. If it were executed, you'l say. But certain, if 

15 execution be remisse or blindfold now and in this par- 
ticular, what will it be hereafter and in other books? 
If then the order shall not be vain and frustrat, behold 
a new labour, Lords and Commons: ye must repeal and 
proscribe all scandalous and unlicenc't books already 

20 printed and divulg'd ; after ye have drawn them up into 
a list, that all may know which are condemn'd and 
which not; and ordain that no forrein books be deli- 
ver'd out of custody, till they have bin read over. This 
office will require the whole time of not a few overseers, 

25 and those no vulgar men. There be also books which 
aj£_ partly useful! and excellent, partly culpable and 
pernicious; this work will ask as many more officials 
to make expurgations and expunctions, that the Com- 
monwealth of learning be not damnify'd. In fine, when 

30 the multitude of books encrease upon their hands, ye 
must be fain to catalogue all those Printers who are 
found frequently offending, and forbidd the importation 
of their whole suspected typography. In a word, that 



28 AREOPAGITICA. 

this your order may be exact, and not deficient, ye must 
reform it perfectly according to the model of Trent and 
Sevil^ which I know ye abhorre to doe. Yet though 
ye should condiscend to this, which God forbid, the 

5 order still would be but fruitlesse and defective to that 
end whereto ye meant it. If to prevent sects and 
schisms, who is so unread or so uncatechis'd in story, 
that hath not heard of many sects refusing books as a 
hindrance, and preserving their doctrine unmixt for 

10 many ages only by unwritt'n traditions. The Christian 
faith, for that was once a schism, is not unknown to 
have spread all over Asia^ ere any Gospel or Epistle 
Iwas seen in writing. If the amendment of manners 
jbe aym'd at, look into Italy and Spain, whether those 

15 places be one scruple the better, the honester, the wiser, 
the chaster, since all the inquisitionall rigor that hath bin 
executed upon books. 

Another reason, whereby to make it plain that this 
order will misse the end it seeks, consider .bjjhe..qua,lij;y 

2owhich ought to bein e,Yerj,iJ£eiicer. It cannot be deny'd 
but that he who is made judge to sit upon the birth or 
death of books, whether they may be wafted into this 
world or not, had need to be a man above the common 
measure both studious, learned, and judicious; there 

25 may be else no mean mistakes in the censure of what 
is passable or not; which is also no mean injury. If 
he be of such worth as behoovs him, there cannot be 
a more tedious and unpleasing journey-work, a greater 
losse of time levied upon his head, then to be made the 

3operpetuall reader of unchosen books and pamphlets, 
oftimes huge volumes. There is no book that is accept- 
able unlesse at certain seasons ; but to be enjoyn'd the 
reading of that at all times, and in a hand scars legible, 



I 



AREOPA GITICA. 2 9 

whereof three pages would not down at any time in the 
fairest Print, is an imposition which I cannot beleeve 
how he that values time and his own studies, or is but 
of a sensible nostrill, should be able to endure. In this 

5 one thing I crave leave of the present licencers to be 
pardon'd for so thinking; who doublesse^ took this office 
up looking on it through their obedience to the Par- 
lament, whose command perhaps made all things seem 
easie and unlaborious to them ; but that this short triall 

o hath wearied them out already, their own expressions and 
excuses to them who make so many journeys to sollicit 
their Hcence, are testimony anough. Seeing therefore 
those who now possesse the imployment, by all evident 
signs wish themselves well ridd of it, and that no man 

IS of worth, none that is not a plain unthrift of his own 
hours is ever likely to succeed them, except he mean 
to put himself to the salary of a Presse-corrector, we may 
easily foresee what kind of licencers we are to expect 
hereafter, either ignorant, imperious, and remisse, or 

ao basely pecuniary. This is what I had to shew wherein 
this order cannot conduce to that end, whereof it bears 
the intention. 

/ I lastly proceed from the no good it can do, to the mani- 

"J*,^ ifest hurt it causes, in being first the greatest discourage- 

' 2, jment and affront that can be offer'd to learning and to 

jlearned men. It was the complaint and lamentation of 

Prelats upon every least breath of a motion to remove 

pluralities and distribute more equally Church revennu's, 

that then all learning would be for ever dasht and dis- 

30 courag'd. But as for that opinion, I never found cause 
to think that the tenth part of learning stood or fell with 
the Clergy ; nor could I ever but hold it for a sordid and 
' Read • doubtlessc.' 



30 AREOPAGITICA. 

unworthy speech of any Churchman who had a com- 
petency left him. If therefore ye be loath to dishearten 
utterly and discontent, not the mercenary crew of false 
pretenders to learning, but the free and ingenuous sort 
5 of such as evidently were born, to study and love lerning 
for it self, not for lucre or any other end but the service 
of God and of truth, and perhaps that lasting fame and 
perpetuity of praise which God and good men have con- 
sented shall be the reward of those whose publisht 

TO labours advance the good of mankind, then know, that 
so far to distrust the judgement and the honesty of one 
who hath but a common repute in learning and never yet 
offended, as not to count him fit to print his mind with- 
out a tutor and examiner, lest he should drop a seism 

1 5 or something of corruption, is the greatest displeasure 
and indignity to a free and knowing spirit that can be 
put upon him. What advantage is it to be a man over 
it is to be a boy at school, if we have only scapt the w^' 
ferular to come under the fescu of an Imprimatur? if 

20 serious and elaborat writings, as if they were no more 
then the theam of a Grammar lad under his Pedagogue 
must not be utter'd without the cursory eyes of a tem- 
porizing and extemporizing licencer? He who is not 
trusted with his own actions, his drift not being known 

25 to be evill, and standing to the hazard of law and penalty, 
has no great argument to think himself reputed in the 
Commonwealth whe rein he w as born_joroth^ then a 
fool of^-aforeiner. fWhen a man writes to the^worldT" 

/ he summonsup"altnis reason and deliberation to assist 
/ 30 him; he searches, meditats, is industrious, and likely 
I consults and conferrs with his judicious friends; after 
I all which done/ he takes him self to be inform'd in whaty 
I he writes as wetT^ any that writ betore him; if in thi< 



AREOPAGITICA. 31 

1 ■ ■ — -^ 

th e most consum mat act of his fidelity a nd ripenesse, no\ 
yearsTno industry, no former proof of TiTs abilities' g^^ 
bring him to that state of maturity as not to be still 
mistrusted and suspected, unlesse he carry all his con- 

5 siderat diligence, all his midnight watchings, and ex- 
pence of Palladian oyl, to the hasty view of an unleasur'd 
licencer, perhaps much his younger, perhaps far his in- 
feriour in judgement, perhaps one who never knew the 
labour of book-writing, and if he be not repulst or 

10 slighted, must appear in Print like a punie with his 
guardian and his censors hand on the back of his title 
to be his bayl and surety, that he is no idiot or seducer, 
it cannot be but a dishonor and derogation to the author, 
to the book, to the priviledge and dignity of Learning. 

15 And what if the author shall be one so copious of fancie 
as to have many things well worth the adding come 
into his mind after Hcencing, while the book is yet under 
the Presse, which not seldom happ'ns to the best and 
diligentest writers; and that perhaps a dozen times in 

20 one book ? The Printer dares not go beyond his licenc't 
copy ; so often then must the author trudge to his leav- 
giver, that those his new insertions may be viewd; and 
many a jaunt will be made, ere that licencer, for it must 
be the same man, can either be found, or found at 

25 leisure ; mean while either the Presse must stand still, 
which is no small damage, or the author loose his 
accuratest thoughts and send the book forth wors then 
he had made it, which to a diligent writer is the greatest 
melancholy and vexation that can befall. And how can a 
.30 man teach with autority, which is the life of teaching, 
^' how can he be a Doctor in his book as he ought to be, 
or else had better be silent, whenas all he teaches, all he 
delivers, is but under the tuition, under the correction 



32 AREOPAGITICA. 

of his patriarchal licencer to blot or alter what precisely 
accords not with the hidebound humor which he calls 
his judgement; when every acute reader upon the first 
sight of a pedantick licence, will be ready with these like 

5 words to ding the book a coits distance from him : I hate 
a pupil teacher, I endure not an instructer that comes 
to me under the wardship of an overseeing fist; I know 
nothing of the licencer, but that I have his own hand 
here for his arrogance ; who shall warrant me his judge- 

loment? The State Sir, replies the Stationer; but has a 
quick return, The State shall be my governours, but not 
my criticks; they may be mistak'n in the choice of a 
licencer as easily as this licencer may be mistak'n in an 
author: This is some common stuffe; and he might 

1 5 adde from Sir Francis Bacon, That such authorized books 

are but the lajiguage of the times. For though a licencer 

should happ'n to be judicious more then ordnary, which 

will be a great jeopardy of the next succession, yet his 

I very office and his commission enjoyns him to let passe 

2<| nothing but what is vulgarly receiv'd already. Nay, 
which is more lamentable, if the work of any deceased 
author, though never so famous in his life time and even 
to this day, come to their hands for licence to be Printed 
or Reprinted, if .there be found in his book one sentence 

2.5 of a ventrous edge, utter'd in the height of zeal, and who 
knows whether it might not be the dictat of a divine 
Spirit, yet not suiting with every low decrepit humor of 
their own, though it were Knox himself the Reformer 
of a Kingdom that spake it, they will not pardon him 

30 their dash; the sense of that great man shall to all 
posterity be lost for the fearfulnesse or the presumptuous 
rashnesse of a perfunctory licencer. And to what an 
author this violence hath bin lately done, and in what 



AREOPA GITICA. 3 3 

book of greatest consequence to be faithfully publisht, I 
could now instance, but shall forbear till a more con- 
venient season. Yet if these things be not resented 
seriously and timely by them who have the remedy in 
5 their power, but that such iron moulds as these shall 
have autority to knaw out the choisest periods of ex- 
quisitest books, and to commit such a treacherous fraud 
against the orphan remainders of worthiest men after 
death, the more sorrow will belong to that haples race 

10 of men, whose misfortune it is to have understanding.' 
Henceforth let no man care to learn, or care to be more 
then worldly wise; for certainly in higher matters to be 
ignorant and slothfull, to be a common stedfast dunce will 
be the only pleasant life and only in request. 

15 And as it is a particular disesteem of every knowing 
person alive, and most injurious to the writt'n labours 
and monuments of the dead, so to me it seems an un- 
dervaluing and vilifying of the whole Nation. I cannot- 
set so light by all the invention, the art, the wit, the 

20 grave and solid judgement which is in England, as that 
it can be comprehended in any twenty capacities how 
good soever ; much lesse that it should not passe except 
their superintendence be over it, except it be sifted and 
strain'd with their strainers, that it should be uncurrant 

25 without their manuall stamp. Truth and understanding 
are not such wares as to be monopoliz'd and traded in 
by tickets and statutes and standards. We must not 
think to make a staple commodity of all the knowledge 
in the Land, to mark and licence it like our broad 

3ocloath and our wooll packs. What is it but a servi- 
tude like that impos'd by the Philistims, not to be 
allow'd the sharpning of our own axes and coulters, 
but we must repair from all quarters to twenty licencing 

1 D 



34 AREOPAGITICA. 

forges. Had any one writt'n and divulg'd erroneous 
things and scandalous to honest life, misusing and for- 
feiting the esteem had of his reason among men, if 
after conviction this only censure were adjudg'd him, 
5 that he should never henceforth write but what were 
first examin'd by an appointed officer, whose hand should 
be annext to passe • his credit for him that now he might 
be safely read, it could not be apprehended lesse then 
a disgraceful! punishment. Whence to include the 

10 whole Nation, and those that never yet thus offended, 
under such a diffident and suspectfull prohibition, may 
plainly be understood what a disparagement it is. So 
much the more, when as dettors and delinquents may 
walk abroad without a keeper, but unoffensive books 

15 must not stirre forth without a visible jaylor in thir title. 
{STor is it to the common people lesse then a reproach ; 
for if we so jealous over them as that we dare not trust 
them with an English pamphlet, what doe we but cen- 
sure them for a giddy, vitious, and ungrounded people, 

20 ip such a sick and weak estate of faith and discretion, as 
be able to take nothing down but through the pipe 
)f a licencer? That this is care or love of them, we 
cannot pretend, whenas in those Popish places where 
the Laity are most hated and despis'd the same strictnes 

25 is us'd over them. Wisdom we cannot call it, because it 
stops but one breach of licence, nor that neither ; whenas 
those corruptions which it seeks to prevent, break in 
faster at other dores which cannot be shut. 

And in conclusion it reflects to the disrepute of our 

30 Ministers also, of whose labours we should hope better, 
and of the proficiencie which thir flock reaps by them : 
then that after all this light of the Gospel which is, and 
is to be, and all this continuall preaching, they should 



AREOPAGTTICA. 35 

be still frequented with such an unprincipl'd, unedi- 
fy'd, and laick rabble, as that the whifFe of every new 
pamphlet should stagger them out of thir catechism 
and Christian walking. This may have much reason | 
5 to discourage the Ministers when such a low conceit is 
had of all their exhortations and the benefiting of their 
hearers, as that they are not thought fit to be turn'd 
loose to three sheets of paper without a licencer; that 
all the Sermons, all the Lectures preacht, printed, vented 

loin such numbers and such volumes as have now well- 
nigh made all other books unsalable, should not be armor 
anough against one single enchiridion, without the castle 
St. Angela of an Imprimatur. 

And lest som should perswade ye, Lords and Com- 

ismons, that these arguments of lerned mens discourage- 
ment at this your order, are meer flourishes and not 
reall, I could recount what I have seen and heard in 
other Countries, where this kind of inquisition tyran- 
nizes; when I have sat among their lerned men, for 

20 that honor I had, and biii counted happy to be born 
in such a place of Philosophic freedom as they suppos'd 
England was, while themselvs did nothing but bemoan 
the servil condition into which lerning amongst them 
was brought ; that this was it which had dampt the 

25 glory of Italian wits, that nothing had bin there writt'n 
now these many years but flattery and fustian. There 
it was that I found and visited the famous Galileo 
grown old, a prisner to the Inquisition, for thinking 
in Astronomy otherwise then the Franciscan and Do- 

3ominican licencers thought. And though I knew that 

P^ngland then was groaning loudest under the Prelati- 

call yoak, neverthelesse I tooke it as a pledge of future 

happines, that other Nations were so perswaded of her 

D 2 



36 AREOPAGITICA. 

liberty. Yet was it beyond my hope that those Worthies 
were then breathing in her air, who should be her 
leaders to such a deliverance as shall never be forgott'n 
by any revolution of time that this world hath to finish. 

5 When that was once begun, it was as little in my fear, 
that what words of complaint I heard among lerned 
men of other parts utter'd against the Inquisition, the 
same I should hear by as lerned men at home utter'd 
in time of Parlament against an order of licencing ; 

10 and that so generally, that when I disclos'd my self a 
companion of their discontent, I might say, if without 
envy, that he whom an honest quaestorship had indear'd 
to the Sicilians, was not more by them importun'd 
against Verves then the favourable opinion which I had 

15 among many who honour ye and are known and re- 
spected by ye, loaded me with entreaties and perswa- 
sions, that I would not despair to lay together that 
which just reason should bring into my mind toward 
the removal of an undeserved thraldom upon lerning. 

20 That this is not therefore the disburdning of a par- 
ticular fancie, but the common grievance of all those 
who had prepar'd their minds and studies above the 
vulgar pitch to advance truth in others and from others 
to entertain it, thus much may satisfie. And in their 

25 name I shall for neither friend nor foe conceal what 
the generall murmur is ; that if it come to inquisitioning 
again and licencing, and that we are so timorous of 
our selvs, and so suspicious of all men, as to fear each 
book, and the shaking of every leaf, before we know 

30 what the contents are, if some who but of late were 
litde better then silenc't from preaching, shall come 
now to silence us from reading except what they please^ 
it cannot be guest what is intended by som but a second 



AREOPAGITICA. 37 

tyranny over learning ; and will soon put it out of con- 
troversie that Bishops and Presbyters are the same to 
us both name and thing. That those evills of Prelaty 
which before from five or six and twenty Sees were dis- 

5 tributivly charg'd upon the whole people, will now light 
wholly upon learning, is not obscure to us : whenas 
now the Pastor of a small unlearned Parish on the 
sudden shall be exalted Archbishop over a large dioces 
of books, and yet not remove, but keep his other cure 

10 too, a mysticall pluraUst. He who but of late cry'd 
down the sole ordination of every novice Batchelor of 
Art, and deny'd sole jurisdiction over the simplest Pa- 
rishioner, shall now at home in his privat chair assume 
both these over worthiest and excellentest books and 

15 ablest authors that write them. This is not, Yee Co- 
venants and Protestations that we have made, this 
is not to put down Prelaty ; this is but to chop an ^ •->-«-'-'\ 
Episcopacy; this is but to translate the Palace Me- 
iropoliian from one kind of dominion into another; 

20 this is b utjan old rannnnir^1 1_ sjjghf nf (:o?n7nu/ing our 
penanceATo startle thus "betimes at a meer unlicenc't 
I pamphlet will after a while be afraid of every conven- 
ticle, and a while after w ill make a con venticle of 
every Christian meeting: But I am certam that a JState 

25"gOveiird t)y the "rules of justice and fortitude, or a 
Church built and founded upon the rock of faith and 
true knowledge, cannot be so pusillanimous. While 
things are yet not constituted in Religion, that freedom 
of writing should be restrain'd by a discipline imitated 

30 from the Prelats and learnt by them from the Inquisi 
tion, to shut us up all again into the brest of a licencer, 
must needs give cause of doubt and discouragement to 
all learned and religious men. Who cannot but discern 



38 



AREOPAGITICA. 




the finenes of this politic drift, and who are the con- 
trivers : that while Bishops were to be baited down, then 
all Presses might be open ; it was the people's birthright 
and priviledge in Jiijje of Parlament, it was the breaking 
5 forth of light ? ^ut no w the Bishop s abrogate d and 
/voided out of the Churcli, as If our Reformation sought 
/ no more but to make room for others into their seats 
I under another name, the ^E^iscopall arts ^begin to bud 
^• ^again, tihe cruse of truth must run no more ojle, liberty 
loot r^rmting must be enthrall'd again under a Prelaticall 
commission of twenty, the privilege of the people nulli- 
fy'd, and which is wors, the freedom of learning must 
groan again and to her old fetters, all this the Parla- 
ment yet sitting. /^Jthough their o wn late arguments a nd 
defe nces~a giInsL.4fa^^1?eiats "^^ them th at 

thi s obstructingf vio|^^ for the inost part with 

event utterly o^t^o sjteJo_t^"~ghd wKich it drives at : 
instead of suppressing sects and schisms, it raises them 
and invests them with a reputation. The pimishing of 
lo^iis enhauncis their aufonly^sniih the Vicount St. Albans, 
and a forhidd'n writing is thought to be a certain spark 
of truth that flies up in the faces of them who seeke to tread 
it out. This^der therefore may pxQve^ a_ nursing mother 
to sects, but I shall easily shew how it will be a step- 
25 dame to Truth : and first by disinabling us to the main- 
tenance of what is known already : 

Well knows he who uses to consider, that our faith 
arid, knowledge thrives by exercise as well as our limbs 
and coinplexron. Truth is compared in Scripture to a 
30 streaming fountain ; if her waters * flow not in a per- 
petuall progression, they sick'n into a muddy pool of 
conformity and tradition. A man may be a heretick 
in the truth; and if he beleeve things only because his 



AREOPAGITICA, 39 



Pastor sayes so, or the Assembly so determins, without 
knowing other reason, though his belief be true, yet the 
very truth he holds becomes his heresie. There is not 
any burden that som would gladier post off to another 

5 then the charge and care o f their Religi og^^^^l'here be, 
who knows not that t'Iierebe7of Protestants and profes- 
sors who live and dye in as arrant an implicit faith as 
any lay Papist of Loretto. A wealthy man addicted to his 
pleasure and ^ to his profits finds Religion to be a traffick 

10 so entangl'd and of so many piddling accounts, that of 
all mysteries he cannot skill to keep a stock going upon 
that trade. What shoulde he doe ? Fain he would have 
the name to be religious, fain he would bear up wit' 
his neighbours in that. What does he therefore but 

isresolvs to give over toyling, and to find himself out 
som factor, to whose care and credit he may commit 
the whole managing of his religous affairs, som Divine 
of note and estimation that must be- To him he ad- 
heres, resigns the whole ware-house of his religion with 

20 all the locks and keyes into his custody; and indeed 
makes the very person of that man his religion ; esteems 
his associating with him a sufficient evidence and com- 
mendatory of his own piety. So that a man may say 
his religion is now no more within himself, but is be- 

25 com a dividuall movable, and goes and comes neer 
him according as that good man frequents the house. 
He entertains him, gives him gifts, feasts him, lodges 
him ; his religion comes home at night, praies, is libe- 
rally supt, and sumptuously laid to sleep, rises, is 'saluted, 

30 and after the malmsfry, or some well spic't bruage, and 
better breakfasted then he whose morning appetite would 
have gladly fed on green figs between Bethany and leru- 
salem^ his Religion walks abroad at eight, and leavs his 




40 AREOPAGITICA. 

kind entertainer in the shop trading all day without his 
religi^ 

Another sort there be who when they hear that all 
things shall be order'd, all things regulated and setl'd, 

5 nothing writt'n but what passes through the custom- 
house of certain Publicans that have the tunaging and 
the poundaging of all free spok'n truth, will strait give 
themselvs up into your hands, mak'em and cut'em out 
what religion ye please. There be delights, there be 

10 recreations and jolly pastimes that will fetch the day 
about from sun to sun, and rock the tedious year as 
in a delightfull dream. What need they torture their 
heads with that which others have tak'n so strictly and 
so unalterably into their own pourveying ? These are 

15 the fruits which a dull ease and cessation of our know- 
ledge will bring forth among the people. How goodly, 
and how to be wisht were such an obedient unanimity 
as this, what a fine conformity would it starch us all 
into ? Doubtles a stanch and solid peece of framework 

20 as any January could freeze together. 

Nor much better will be the consequence ev'n among 
the Clergy themselvs. It is no new thing never heard 
of before for a parochiall Minister, who has his reward 
and is at his Hercules pillars in a warm benefice, to be 

25 easily inclinable, if he have nothing else that may rouse 

, up his studies, to finish his circuit in an English con- 

^^*^^K cordance and a topic folio, the gatherings and savings of 

a sober graduatship, a Harmony and a Catena, treading 

the constant round of certain common doctrinall heads, 

30 attended with their uses, motives, marks and means, out 
of which as out of an alphabet or sol fa by forming and 
transforming, joyning and disjoyning variously a little 
book-craft, and two hours meditation might furnish him 



AREOPAGITICA. 41 

unspeakably to the performance of more then a weekly 
charge of sermoning, not to reck'n up the infinit helps 
of interlinearies, breviaries, synopses, and other loitering 
gear. But as for the multitude of Sermons ready printed 
5 and pil'd up, on every text that is not difficult, our 
London trading St. Thomas in his vestry, and adde to 
boot St. Martin, and St. Hugh, have not within their 
hallow'd limits more vendible ware of all sorts ready 
made ; so that penury he never need fear of Pulpit pro- 

10 vision, having where so plenteously to refresh his ma- 
gazin. But if his rear and flanks be not impal'd, if 
his back dore be not secur'd by the rigid licencer, but 
that a bold book may now and then issue forth, and 
give the assault to some of his old collections in their 

15 trenches, it will concern him then to keep waking, to 
stand in watch, to set good guards and sentinells about 
his receiv'd opinions, to walk the round and counter- 
round with his fellow inspectors, fearing lest any of his 
flock be seduc't, who also then would be better in- 

2ostructed, better exercis'd and disciplined. And God fend 

that the fear of this diligence which must then be us'd, 

doe not make us affect the lazines of a licencing Church. 

For if we be sure we are in the right, and doe not 

hold the truth guiltily, which becomes not, if we our- 

25 selves condemn not our own weak and frivolous teach- 
ing, and the people for an untaught and irreligious 
gadding rout, what can be more fair then when a man 
judicious, learned, and of a conscience, for ought we 
know, as good as theirs that taught us what we know, 

30 shall not privily from house to house, which is more 
dangerous, but openly by writing publish to the world 
what his opinion is, what his reasons, and wherefore 
that which is now thought cannot be sound? Christ 



42 AREOPAGITICA. 

urg'd it as wherewith to justifie himself, that he preacht 
in publick ; yet writing is more publick then preaching, 
and more easie to refutation, if need be, there being so 
many whose businesse and profession meerly it is, to be 

5 the champions of Truth ; which if they neglect, what can 
be imputed but their sloth, or inabilty ? 

Thus much we are hinder'd and dis-inur'd by this 
cours of licencing towards the true knowledge of what 
we seem to know. For how much it hurts and hinders 

lo the licencers themselves in the calling of their Ministery, 
more then any secular employment, if they will discharge 
that office as they ought, so that of necessity they must 
neglect either the one duty or the other, I insist not, 
because it is a particular, but leave it to their own con- 

15 science, how they will decide it there. 

There is yet behind of what I purpos'd to lay open, 
the incredible losse and detriment that this plot of licenc- 
ing puts us to. More then if som enemy at sea should 
stop up all our hav'ns and ports and creeks, it hinders 

20 and retards the importation of our richest Marchandize, 
TrjjtVi ; nay, it was first establisht and put in practice 
by Antichristian malice and mystery^ on set purpose to 
extinguish, if it were possible, the light of Reformation, 
and to settle falshood, little differing from that policie 

25 wherewith the Turk upholds his Alcoran by the prohi- 
bition of Printing. 'Tis not deny'd, but gladly confest, 
we are to send our thanks and vows to heav'n louder 
then most of Nations for that great measure of truth 
which we enjoy, especially in those main points betweeo 

30 us and the Pope with his appertinences the Prelats ; but 
he who thinks we are to pitch our tent here, and have 
attain' d the utmost prospect of reformation, that the 
mortalle glasse wherein we contemplate can shew us, till 



I 



AREOPAGITICA. 43 

we come to beatific vision, that man by this very opinion 
declares that he is yet farre short of Truth. 

Truth indeed came once into the world with her 
divine Master, and was a perfect shape most glorious 

5 to look on ; but when he ascended, and his Apostles 
after him were laid asleep, then strait arose a wicked 
race of deceivers, who, as that story goes of the jEgyplian 
Typhon with his conspirators how they dealt with the 
good Osiris, took the virgin Truth, hewd her lovely 

10 form into a thousand peeces, and scatter'd them to the 
four winds. From that time ever since, the sad friends 
of Truth, such as durst appear, imitating the carefuU " 
search that Isis made for the mangl'd body of Osiris, 
went up and down gathering up limb by limb still as 

15 they could find them. We have not yet found them 
all. Lords and Commons, nor ever shall doe, till her 
Masters second comming; he shall bring together every 
joynt and member, and shall mould them into an im- 
mortall feature of loveliness and perfection. Suffer not 

20 these licencing prohibitions to stand at every place of 
opportunity forbidding and disturbing them that con- 
tinue seeking, that continue to do our obsequies to 
the torn body of our martyr'd Sa int. /~^We"~boast our 
light ; but if we^ look not wisely on the Sun it self, it 

25 smites us into darknes. Who can discern those planets 
that are oft Combust, and those stars of brightest mag- 
nitude that rise and set with the Sun, untill the opposite 
motion of their orbs bring them to such a place in the 
firmament, where they may be seen evning or morning ? 

30 The light which we have gain'd, was giv'n us, not to 
be ever staring on, but by it to discover onward things 
more remote from . our knowledge. It is not the un- 
frocking of a Priest, the unmitring of a Bishop, and the 



44 AREOPAGITICA. 

./' J, 
Qfy^-> removing him from off the Presbyterian shoulders that 

will make us a happy Nation ; no, if other things as great 

in the Church and in the rule of life both economicall 

and politicall be not lookt into and reform'd, we have 

5 lookt so long upon the blaze that ZuingUus and Calvin 
hath beacon'd up to us, that we are stark bhnd. There 
be who perpetually complain of schisms and sects, and 
make it such a calamity that any man dissents from their 
maxims. 'Tis their own pride and ignorance which 

10 causes the disturbing, who neither will hear with meek- 
nes nor can convince ; yet all must be supprest which 
is not found in their Syntagma. They are the troublers, 
they are the dividers of unity, who neglect and permit 
not others to unite those dissever'd peeces which are 

15 yet wanting to the body of Truth. To be still search- 
ing what we know not by what we know, still closing 
up truth to truth as we find it (for all her body is 
homogeneal, and proportionall), this is the golden rule 
in Theology as well as in Arithmetick, and makes up the 

20 best harmony in a Church, not the forc't and outward 
union of cold and neutrall and inwardly divided minds. 



(jA r^'^^ords and Commons of England, consider what Na- 
y Y tion it ij 
/ nours : a Nation not slow and dull, but of a quick. 



/ 



N Y tion it is wherof ye are and wherof ye are the gover- 



25 ingenious, and piercing spirit, acute to invent, suttle 
and sinewy to discours, not beneath the reach of any 
point the highest that human capacity can soar to. 
Therefore the studies of learning in her deepest Sciences 
have bin so ancient and so eminent among us, that 

50 Writers of good antiquity and ablest judgement have 
bin perswaded that ev'n the school of Pythagoras and 
the Persian wisdom took beginning from the old Philo- 
sophy of this Hand. And that wise and civill Roman, 



AREOPA Gl TIC A, 45 

Julius Agn'cola, who govern'd once here for Caesar ^ pre- 
ferr'd the naturall wits of Britain before the labour'd 
studies of the French. Nor is it for nothing that the 
grave and frugal Transilvanian sends out yearly from 

5 as farre as the mountanous borders of Russia and 
beyond the Hercynian wildernes, not their youth, but 
their stay'd men, to learn our language and our theo- 
logic arts. Yet that which is above all this, the favour 
and the love of heav'n, we have great argument to think 

10 in a peculiar manner propitious and propending towards 
us. Why else was this Nation chos'n before any other, 
that out of her as out of Sion should be proclam'd and 
sounded forth the first tidings and trumpet of Reforma- 
tion to all Europ ? And had it not bin the obstinat per- 

15 versnes of our Prelats against the divine and admirable 
spirit of Wicklef, to suppresse him as a schismatic and 
innovator^ perhaps neither the Bohemian Husse 2ind Jerome 
no, nor the name of Luther or of Calvin had bin ever 
known; the glory of reforming all our neighbours had 

20 bin compleatly ours. But now, as our obdurat Clergy 
have with violence demean'd the matter, we are become 
hitherto the latest and the backwardest Schollers, of whom 
God offer'd to have made us the teachers. Now once 
again by all concurrence of signs and by the generall in- 

25 stinct of holy and devout men, as they daily and solemnly 
expresse their thoughts, God is decreeing to begin some 
new and great period in his Church, ev'n to the reform- 
ing of Reformation it self. What does he then but 
reveal Himself to his servan ts, and as his manner is. 

30 first to his English-men ;'i I say as his manner is, first 
to us, though we mai^k not the method of his counsel 
and are unworthy? fBehold now this vast City: a City 
of refuge, the mansion house oi liBertyi encompast and 




46 AREOPAGTTICA, 

surrounded with his protection ; the shop of warre hath 
not there more anvils and hammers waking, to fashion 
out the plates and instruments of armed Justice in 
defence of beleaguer'd Truth, then there be pens and 

5 heads there, sitting by their studious lamps, musing, 
searching, revolving new notions and idea's wherewith 
to present as with their homage and their fealty the 
approaching Reformation, others as fast reading, trying 
all things, assenting to the force of reason and convince- 

loment. What could a man require more from a Nation 
so pliant and so prone to seek after knowledge ? What 
wants there to such a towardly and pregnant soile but 
wise and faithfull labourers, to make a knowing people, 
a Nation of Prophets, of Sages, and of Worthies? We 

isreck'n more then five months yet to harvest; there need 
not be five weeks ; had we but eyes to lift up, the fields 
are white already. Where there is much desire to learn, 
there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, 
many opinions; for opinion in good men is but know- 

20 ledge in the making. Under these fantastic terrors of 
sect and schism, we wrong the earnest and zealous thirst 
after knowledge and understanding which God hath 
stirr'd up in this City. What some lament of, we rather 
should rejoyce at, should rather praise this pious for- 

25wardnes among men, to reassume the ill deputed care 
of their Religion into their own hands again. AJittle 
geiierous. prudence, a little forbearance of one another, 
and som grain of charity might win all -these diligences 
to joyn and unite in one generall and brotherly search 

30 after Truth, could we but forgoe this Prelaticall tradi- 
tion of crowding free consciences, and Christian liberties 
into canons and precepts of men. I doubt not, if some 
great and worthy stranger should come among us, wise 



AREOPAGITICA, 47 

to discern the mould and temper of a people and how 
to govern it, observing the high hopes and aims, the 
diligent alacrity of our extended thoughts and reason- 
ings in the pursuance of truth and freedom, but that he 
5 would cry out as Pirrhus did, admiring the Roman 
docility and courage : If such were my Epirots, I would 
not despair the greatest design that coul d be at tempted 
to make a Church or Kingd<5rrl happ3c. /Yet these are" 
' m cry'd out against for schismatickp and sectaries; 
mile the Temple of the-X.ai:d-w4s building, some 
itting\ some squaring the marble, others hewing the 
cedars/ tnere ihould be a sort of irrationall men who could 
mot conSirter there must be many schisms and many dis- 
/ sections made in the qu arry and in the timber, ere th e 

lihouse of God can be buifc^ And when every stone is laid 
artmlly together, iTC^mrot be united into a continuity, it 
can but be contiguous in this world; neither can every 
peece of the building be of one form; nay, rather the 
perfection consists in this : that out of many moderat 

20 varieties and brotherly dissimilitudes that are not 
vastly disproportionall arises the goodly and the grace- 
full symmetry that commends the whole pile and struc- 
ture. Let us therefore be more considerat builders, 
more wise in spirituall architecture, when great refor- 

25mation is expected. For now the time seems come, 
wherein Moses the great Prophet may sit in heav'n re- 
joycing to see that memorable and glorious wish of his 
fulfill'd, when not only our sev'nty Elders but all the 
Lords people are become Prophets. No marvell then 

30 though some men, and some good men too perhaps, 
but young in goodnesse, as Joshua then was, envy them. 
They fret, and out of their own weaknes are in agony, 
lest those divisions and subdivisions will undoe us. The 



48 AREOPAGITICA. 

adversarie again applauds, and waits the hour; when 
they have brancht themselves out, saith he, small anough 
into parties and partitions, then will be our time. Fool ! 
he sees not the firm root, out of which we all grow 
5 though into branches ; nor will beware untill hee see our 
small divided maniples cutting through at every angle 
of his ill united and unweildy brigade. And that we 
are to hope better of all these supposed sects and schisms, 
and that we shall not need that solicitude honest perhaps 

I o though over timorous of them that vex in this behalf, 
but shall laugh in the end at those malicious applauders 
of ffl r differences, I have these reasons to perswade me : 

^\ First, wBeir~a "City shatt -be -as-it-were-feesieg*!!" and 
blockt about, her navigable river infested, inrodes and 

15 incursions round, defiance and battell oft rumor'd to! 

H arching up ev'n to her walls and suburb trenches,! 
then the people, or the greater part, more then! 
her times, wholly tak'n up with the study of 
highest and niost^^ important mattersyto be i^orm'd; 
2o should_ be d isputfng. ^ ea^ntfig. re^^di^ invenung, <f^^^ 
co ursing, ev'n to a rarity, and y^mira^on, xmftgs ndt 
'^fore discourst or ^Titrrr~of, /srgues nrsFlT^ singular 
good will, contentednesse and tonfideijrce in your pru- 
dent foresight and safe governnkiit»^ ords ^nd ^rji- 
. 25 mons^-'an^'Trom thence derives it self to a gallant 
\^__jM=a:vefy and well grounded contempt of their enemies, 
as if there were no small number of as great spirits 
among us, as his was, who when Rome was. nigh be- 
sieg'd by Hanihaly being in the City, bought that peece 
30 of ground at no cheap rate, whereon Hanihal himself 
encampt his own regiment. Next it is a lively and 
cherfull presage of our happy successe and victory. 
For as in a body, when the blood is fresh, the spirits 




AREOPAGITICA, 49 

pure and vigorous not only to vital but to rational! 
faculties and those in the acutest and the pertest 
operations of wit and suttlety, it ar^es in what goocL 
plight and constitution the body is/so^\vhcn ^ the ch er- 
5 fulnesse of the people is so sprightl y up, as that it has 
not onlywherewith to guard well its own freedom and 
safety but to spare, and to bestow upon the solidest 
and sublimest points of controversie and new inven- 
tion, it betokens us not degenerated, nor drooping to a 
10 fatair^cay, but castmg oif tTie~ord and w rincl'd skin 
of corrtipli?5Tr~Tn~outlive these pangs and wax young 
again,^ntrmg^~tHe glorious waies of Truth and pros- 
perous vertue destii?T lo~"become~^TCat and honog r^^ ble 
in these latter ages. R ethinks I see in my mind a y 
15 noble and puissant Nation rousing herself like a strong 
JT) man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks. 
v^*jj^^ethinks I see her as an Eagle muing her mighty 
p/^ youth, and kindling her undazl'd eyes at the full mid- 
day beam, purging and unsealing her long abused 
20 sight at the fountain it self of heav'nly radiance, while 

the whole noise of timorous and. flocking birds, with ^'--'^^^"f 
those also that love the twilight, flutter about, amaz'd 
at what she means, and in their envious gabble would 

progposticat a yea^^sects ^nd grln'gms — rx > 

2J'''"^What should ye doe then, should ye suppresse all / 
I this flowry crop of knowledge and new light sprung up / 
j and yet springing daily 'in this City, should ye set an / 
^ Oligarchy of twenty ingrossers over it, to bring a famin ' 

upon our minds again, when we shall know nothing 

30 but what is measur'd to us by their bushel? Beleeve 

it, Lords* and Commons, they who counsell ye to such 

a suppressing doe as good as bid ye suppresse your- 

* 'Lord,' ed. of 1644. 

S 



50 AREOPA GITICA . 

selves; and I will soon shew how. If it be desir'd to 
know the immediat cause of all this free writing and 
free speaking, there cannot be assign'd a truer then 
^our own mild and free and human government ; If jt 
is~-the liberty, Lords and Commons, which your own 
valorous and happy counsels have purchast us, liberty 
which is the nurse of all great wits; this is that which 
hath rarify'd and enlightn'd our spirits like the influence 
of heav'n ; this is that which hath enfranchis'd, enlarg'd 
and lifted up our apprehensions degrees above them- 
selves.^fYc^annot make^-Qs now lesse capable, leb'se 
kn^^mg, lesse eagarly pursuing of the truth, unlesse 
ye first make your selves, that made us soHl^S^fi-ihe 
lovers, lesse the founders of our true libert}^ We can 
grow ignorant agaiYi; biutish, fuimall, diid stevisn, as ye 
found us; but you then must first become that 
ye tannot be, oppressive, arbitrary, and tyrannous, as 
they were from whom ye have free'd us. That our 
hearts are now more capacious, our thoughts more 

20 erected to the search and expectation of greatest and 
exactest things, is the issue of your owne vertu propa- 
gated in us ; ye cannot suppresse that unlesse ye rein- 
force an abrogated and mercilesse law, that fathers may 
dispatch at will their own children. And who shall then 

25 sticke closest to ye, and excite others ? Not he who takes 
up armes for cote and conduct and his four nobles of 
Danegelt. Although I dispraise not the defence of just 
immunities, yet love my peace better, if that were all. 
Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue 

;o freely according to conscience, above all liberties. 

What would be best advis'd then, if it be found so 
Xk^^ hurtfull and so imequall to suppresse opinions for the 
\ ' newnes or the unsutablenes to a customary acceptance, 



t 



AREOPAGITICA. 51 

will not be my task to say ; I only shall repeat what I y ' 
have learnt from one of your own honourable number, ' 

/^ frgtit noble and pioiislofdr-whe-h aJ \\^ i tot- SRrr i fir'ri 

( Ais life and fortunes to the Church and Commonwealth, j 
^ve had not now mist and bewayl'd ^^woithy and un- ) 
( doubted patron of this argument, y'^e know nrnTtTmr 
sure ; yet I for honOitrs-sakeraciia in ay it be eternall to 
him, shall name him, the Lord Brook. He writing of 
Episcopacy, and by the way treating of sects and 
10 schisms, left Ye his vote, or rather now the last words . 
of his dying charge, which I know will ever be of dear 
and honour'd regard with Ye, so full of meeknes and 
breathing charity, that next to his last testament, who 
bequeathed love and peace to his Disciples, I cannot 
1 5 call to mind where I have read or heard words more 
mild and peacefull. He there exhorts us to hear with 
patience and humility those, however they be mis- 
call'd, that desire to live purely, in such a use of Gods 
Ordinances, as the best guidance of their conscience 
20 gives them, and to tolerat them, though in some dis- 
conformity to our selves. The book it self will tell us 
more at large being publisht to the world and dedi- 
cated to the Parlament by him who both for his life 
and for his death deserves, that what advice he left be 
25 not laid by without perusall. 

And now the time in speciall is by priviledge to 
write and speak what may help to the furder dis- 
cussing of matters in agitation. The Temple ol Janus 
with his two controversal faces might now not unsignifi- 
30 cantly be set open. And though all the windes of 
doctrin were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth ^J 
be in the field, we do injuriously by licencing and 
prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and 
£ 2 



52 AREOPAGTTICA. 

Falshood grapple ; who ever knew Truth put to the 

wors in a free and open encounter? Her confuting 

^ is the best and surest suppressing. He who hears what 

/ praying there is for light and clearer knowledge to be 

5 sent down among us, would think of other matters to 

be constituted beyond the discipline of Geneva^ fram'd 

and fabric't already to our hands. Yet when the new 

light which we beg for shines in upon us, there be who 

envy and oppose, if it come not first in at their case- 

/oments. What a collusion is this, whenas we are ex- 
horted by the wise man to use diligence, to seek for 
wisdom as for hidden treasures early and late, that 
another order shall enjoyn us to know nothing but> 
staiM*e4ywTien a man hath bin labouring the hardes^ 
labour in the deep mines of knowledge, hath furnisht 
out his findings in all their equipage, drawn forth his 
reasons as it were a battell raun g'd^catter'd and dp- 
/feated all objections in J\is way,T^all s/Qut his ad ver- 
' sary into the plain, qffer^ him*me~advantage of wind 

(o and sun, if he please, only that he may try the matter 
by dint of argument, for his opponents then to sculk, 
to lay ambushments, to keep a narrow bridge of licenc- 
ing where the challenger should passe, though it be 
valour anough in shouldiership, is but weaknes and 

25 cowardise in the wars of Truth. For wlia-JinQ5KS_ji.Qt 
that Truth is strong next to the Almighty? She needs 
no policies, no stratagems, nor licencings to make her 
victorious; those are the shifts and the defences that 
error uses against her power. Give her but room, and 

30 do not bind her when she sleeps, for then she speaks 
not true, as the old Proteus did, who spake oracles 
only when he was caught and bound ; but then rather 
she turns herself into all shapes except her own, and 



AREOPAGITICA. 53 

perhaps tunes her voice according to the time, as 
Micaiah did before Ahab, untill she be adjur'd into 
her own likenes. Yet is it not impossible that she may 
have more shapes then one. What else is all that rank 

5 of things indifferent, wherein Truth may be on this side 
or on the other without being unlike her self? What 
but a vain shadow else is the abolition of those ordi- 
nances, that hand writing nayVd to the crosse, what 
great purchase is this Christian liberty which Paul so 

I o often boasts of? His doctrine is, that he who eats or 
eats not, regards a day or regards it not, may doe 
either to the Lord. How many other things might be 
tolerated in peace and left to conscience, had we but 
charity, and were it not the chief strong hold of our 

ishypocrisie to be ever judging one another. I fear yet 
this iron yoke of outward conformity hath left a slavish 
print upon our necks; the ghost of a linnen decency 
yet haunts us. We stumble and are impatient at the 
least dividing of one visible congregation from another, 

20 though it be not in fundamentalls ; and through our 
forwardnes to suppresse, and oiir backwardnes to re- 
cover any enthrall'd peece of truth out of the gripe of 
custom, we care not to keep truth separated from 
truth, which is the fiercest rent and disunion of all. 

25 We doe not see that while we still affect by all means 
a rigid externall formality, we may as soon fall again 
into a grosse conforming stupidity, a stark and dead 
congealment of wood and hay and stubble forc't and 
frozen together, which is more to the sudden degene- 

30 rating of a Church then many subdichototm'es of petty 
schisms. Not that I can think well of every light sepa- 
ration, or that all in a Church is to be expected gold 
and stiver afid pretious stones ; it is not possible for man 



54 AREOPAGITICA. 

to sever the wheat from the tares, the good fish from 
the other frie ; that must be the Angels Ministery at the 
end of mortall things. Yet if all cannot be of one mind, 
as who looks they should be? this doubtles is more 

5 wholsome, more prudent, and more Christian : that 

many be tolerated rather than all compell'd. I mean 

not tolerated Popery and open superstition, which as 

lit extirpats all religions and civill supremacies, so it 

I self should be extirpat, provided first that all charitable 

itiand compassionat means be us'd to win and regain 

\ the weak and misled; that also which is impious or evil 
absolutely either against faith or maners no law can 
possibly permit, that intends not to unlaw it self; but 
those neighboring differences, or rather indifferences, 

15 are what I speak of, whether in some point of doctrine 
or of discipline, which though they may be many, yet 
need not interrupt the unity of Spirit^ if we could but 
find among us the bond of peace. In the mean while if 
any one would write, and bring his helpfull hand to the 

20 slow-moving Reformation which we labour under, if 
Truth have spok'n to him before others, or but seem'd 
at least to speak, who hath so bejesuited us that we 
should trouble that man with asking licence to doe so 
worthy a deed? And not consider this, that if it come 

25 to prohibiting, there is not ought more likely to be 
prohibited then truth it self; whose first appearance to 
our eyes blear'd and dimm'd with prejudice and custom, 
is more unsightly and unplausible then many errors, 
ev'n as the person is of many a great man slight and 

30 contemptible to see to. And what doe they tell us 
vainly of new opinions, when this very opinion of theirs, 
that none must be heard but whom they like, is the 
worst and newest opinion of all others; and is the 



AREOPAGITICA. 55 

chief cause why sects and schisms doe so much abound, 
and true knowledge is kept at distance from us? 
Besides yet a greater danger which is in it: for when 
God shakes a Kingdome with strong and healthfull 

5 commotions to a generall reforming, 'tis not untrue 
that many sectaries and false teachers are then busiest 
in seducing; but yet more true it is, that God then 
raises to his own work men of rare abilities and more 
then common industry not only to look back and revise 

10 what hath bin taught heretofore, but to gain furder and 
goe on some new enlightn'd steps in the discovery of 
truth. For such is the order of Gods enlightning his 
Church, to dispense and deal out by degrees his beam, 
so as our earthly eyes may best sustain it. Neither 

15 is God appointed and confin'd, where and out of what 
place these his chosen shall be first heard to speak ; for 
he sees not as man sees, chooses not as man chooses, 
lest we should devote our selves again to set places and 
assemblies and outward callings of men, planting our 

20 faith one while in the old Convocation house, and 
another while in the Chappell at Westminster; when 
all the faith and religion that shall be there canoniz'd, 
is not sufficient, without plain convincement and the 
charity of patient instruction, to supple the least bruise 

25 of conscience, to edifie the meanest Christian, who de- 
sires to walk in the Spirit, and not in the letter of 
human trust, for all the number of voices that can be 
there made; no, though Harry the 7. himself there, 
with all his leige tombs about him, should lend them 

30 voices from the dead, to swell their number. And 
if the men be erroneous who appear to be the leading 
schismaticks, what witholds us but our sloth, our self- 
will, and distrust in the right cause, that we doe not 



56 AREOPAGITTCA, 

give them gentle meetings and gentle d.smissions, that 
we debate not and examin the matter throughly with 
liberall and frequent audience; if not for their sakes, 
yet for our own, seeing no man who hath tasted 
5 learning, but will confesse the many waies of profiting 
by those who not contented with stale receits are able 
to manage and set forth new positions to the world? 
And were they but as the dust and cinders of our 
feet, so long as in that notion they may serve to polish 

lo and brighten the armoury of Truth, ev'n for that respect 

they were not utterly to be cast away. But if they be 

of those whom God hath fitted for the speciall use of 

. these times with eminent and ample gifts, and those 

perhaps neither among the Priests nor among the 

15 Pharisees, and we in the hast of a precipitant zeal shall 
make no distinction, but resolve to stop their mouths, 
because we fear they come with new and dangerous 
opinions, as we commonly fore-judge them ere we un- 
derstand them, no lesse then woe to us, while, thinking 

20 thus to defend the Gospel, we are found the persecutors. 

There have bin not a few since the beginning of this 

Parlament, both of the Presbytery and others, who by 

their unlicen't books to the contempt of an Imprimatur 

first broke that triple ice clung about our hearts, and 

25 taught the people to see day. I hope that none of those 
were the perswaders to renew upon us this bondage 
which they themselves have wrought so much good by 
contemning. But if neither the check that Moses gave 
to young Joshua^ nor the countermand which our Saviour 

30 gave to young John^ who was so ready to prohibit those 
whom he thought unlicenc't, be not anough to admonish 
our Elders how unacceptable to God their testy mood 
of prohibiting is, if neither their own remembrance what 



AREOPAGITICA. 67 

evill hath abounded in the Church by this lett of licenc- 
ing, and what good they themselves have begun by trans- 
gressing it, be not anough, but that they will perswade 
and execute the most Dominican part of the Inquisition 

5 over us, and are already with one foot in the stirrup so 
active at suppressing, it would be no unequall distribu- 
tion in the first place to suppresse the suppressors them- 
selves; whom the change of their condition hath puft 
up more then their late experience of harder times hath 

10 made wise. 

And as for regulating the Presse, let no man think to 
have the honour of advising ye better then your selves 
have done in that Order publisht next before this : that 
no book be Printed, unlesse the Printers and the Authors 

15 name, or at least the Printers be register'd. Those which 
otherwise come forth, if they be found mischievous and 
libellous, the fire and the executioner will be the time- 
liest and the most eifectuall remedy, that mans prevention 
can use. For this auihefitic Spanish policy of licencing 

20 books, if I have said ought, will prove the most unlicenc't 
book it self within a short while ; and was the immediat 
image of a Star-chamber decree to that purpose made 
in those very times when that Court did the rest of those 
her pious works, for which she is now fall'n from the 

25 Starres with Lticifer. Whereby ye may guesse what kinde 
of State prudence, what love of the people, what care 
of Religion, or good manners there was at the con- 
triving, although with singular hypocrisie it pretended to 
bind books to their good behaviour. And how it got 

30 the upper hand of your precedent Order so well con- 
stituted before, if we may beleeve those men whose pro- 
fession gives them cause to enquire most, it may be 
doubted there was in it the fraud of some old patentees 



58 AREOPAGITICA. 

and monopolizers in the trade of book-selling ; who under 
pretence of the poor in their Company not to be de- 
frauded, and the just retaining of each man his severall 
copy, which God forbid should be gainsaid, brought 

5 divers glosing colours to the House, which were indeed 
but colours, and serving to no end except it be to exer- 
cise a superiority over their neighbours, men who doe 
not therefore labour in an honest profession to which 
learning is indetted, that they should be made other 

lo mens vassals. Another end is thought was aym'd at by 
some of them in procuring by petition this Order, that 
having power in their hands, malignant books might the 
easier scape abroad, as the event shews. But of these 
Sophisms and Elejichs of marchandize I skill not. This 

15 I know, that errois in a good government and in a bad 
are equally almost incident; for what Magistrate may 
not be mis'inform'd, and much the sooner, if liberty of 
Printing be reduc't into the power of a few? But to 
redresse willingly and speedily what hath bin err'd, and 

20 in highest autority to esteem a plain advertisement more 
then others have done a sumptuous bribe, is a vertue 
(honour'd Lords and Commons) answerable to Your 
highest actions, and whereof none can participat but 
greatest and wisest men. 



NOTES. 



NOTES. 



Page 1. Observe that the Speech opens with what the Greek gram- 
marians called an •anacoluthon,'= a syntactical * non sequitur' or inco- 
herence. The sense is plain enough; only the grammatical letter is 
violated. Such carelessnesses are common in Milton's prose writings, as 
in Clarendon's and others of the seventeenth century, till Dryden introduced 
a more correct style. With the instance in the text compare such Latin and 
Greek uses of the nominative as in Virgil, JEueid, xii. i6i, &c. ; of the 
accusative in Sophocles, Antigone 21, &c. ; and Thucydides* use of the 
dative, as in v. iii, iroWois -yctp vpoopojfievois k.t.X. 

Line l. They who to States, &c., i.e. (i) orators, and (ii) writers. 

States = hezds of states. Holt White quotes from Milton's translation of 
Psalm Ixxxii : 

• God in the great assembly stands 
Of kings and lordly States.' 
Also from Sidney's Arcadia : ' I can do nothing without all the States of 
Arcadia ; what they will determine I know not,' &c. Compare how the 
names of their kingdoms are used to denote the kings themselves ; as e. g. 
in King Lear France = King of France, &c. 

3. wanting, not = wishing for, or needing, but being without. See below, 
p. 102. 

in a private condition. These words explain how ' access' is • wanted ' = as 
being private meti. 

6. fl//er'a? = changed, perturbed. Alter is literally to make other or different. 

7. swccew = issue. The word was by no means confined in Milton's time 
to a favourable sense. Thus Paradise Regained, iv. i : 

* Perplex'd and troubled at his bad success, 
The tempter stood.' 

8. ««s//r«'— opinion. This word in Milton's time was not limited to 
denote only unfavourable judgment. See Shakspere passim ; as Hamlet, i. 
3. 69 : ' Take each man's censure, hut reserve thy judgment.' 

of what, &c. = born of, springing from, based on what. 

as the subject was, 8cc. This speech was published in November, 1 644; 
see Introduction. The works that had preceded it were, Of Reformation in 
England, Prelatical Episcopacy, Reason of Church Government, Animadver- 
sions, &c., all published in 1641 ; Apology for Smectymnuus in 1642. The 
Tractate on Education, The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, and Martin 
Bucer's Judgment were published in the same year with the Areopagitica. 



62 AREOPAGITICA. [P. i. 

12. likely. This adverb is still retained in Lowland Scotch, and in the 
phrase most likely. 

[might disclose. What is the grammatical subject to might disclose ?] 
• 13. formost. See Morris's English Accidence, § 123. 

16. to a passion = into a state of intense feeling, of excitement and enthu- 
siasm. Milton is often * carried away ' — ' rapt ' — by his subject in this splendid 
work. 

then = owT than. See Morris's English Accidence, § 312. 

[17. Explain incidentall to a Preface."] 

18. though I stay not, &c. = though I confess at once. 
«V = to wish and promote their countries liberty. 

22. a certain testimony, if not a Trophey. It will show how ready I am 
to fight for my country, whether I conquer or not. In this particular cause 
he was not to conquer for some fifty years. The Areopagitica became a 
• trophy' as well as a ' testimony' in 1694. See Introduction. 

P. 2, 1. 5. to which, &c. Milton had not yet perhaps fully discovered the 
disheartening fact that the Presbyterian party when in power was to show 
itself as little capable of an enlightened tolerance as the Episcopalians whom 
they had overthrown — that ' new foes ' were arising 

' Threatening to bind our souls with secular chains,* 
and re-enthrall • free co»science' — that, really as well as ctymologically, 
' New Presbj^ter is but Old Priest writ large.' 

are . . . arrived. A more accurate phrase than our have arrived. 

7. and yet from such a steep disadvantage, &c. We were so sunken 
that our rising again might well have seemed hopeless and impossible, as was 
the rising again of the Romans after their decline and fall, all whose 
' manhood ' ( = Lat. virtus, manliness, valour) could not recover them ; and 
yet we have recovered ourselves. 

[13. Neither is it, &c. Explain // here.] 

1 5. which if I now first, &c. His Of Reformation in England, for instance, 
is filled with delight at what he was witnessing, and praise of those who were 
accomplishing it. See also An Apology for Smectymnuus, passim. 

19, unwillingest. See below, p. 93. 
22. courtship. See Comus, 321-5: 

' Shepherd, I take thy word. 

And trust thy honest offer'd courtesy. 

Which oft is sooner found in lowly sheds 

With smoky rafters, than in tap'stry halls 

And courts of princes, where it first was named 

And yet is most pretended.' 
The word court is itself of humble origin — from Lat. cohortem = z farm- 
yard ; see Max Miiller's Lectures on the Science of Language, 2nd Series. 

25. the other here denotes the third of the 'three principal things ' = what 
is called the latter just below. So sometimes in Elizabethan English both, 
the conjunction, is used when more than two objects are linked together ; so 



p. 3,] NOTES. 6^ 

also neither. This use of other is the more odd, because it is in fact the 
native word for second. Second is a French word. 

a8. hereto/ore. See especially Animadversions upon the Remonstrant's 
Defence against Smectymnuus, and An Apology for Smectymnuus. 

29. resetting, &c. See An Apology for Smectymnuus; especially Sect. viii. 
p. 89, Of Works : ' And can this private concoctor of malecontent at the 
very instant when he pretends to extol the pailiament, afford thus to blur 
over rather than to mention that public triumph of their justice and con- 
stancy, so high, so glorious, so reviving to the fainted commonwealth, with 
such a suspicious and murmuring expression as to call it " some proceedings"? 
[He is dealing with Hall's remarks on the execution of Strafford.] And yet 
immediately he falls to glossing, as if he were the only man that 
rejoiced at these times. But I shall discover to ye, readers, that this his 
praising of them is as full of nonsense and scholastic foppery as his meaning 
he himself discovers to be full of close malignity. His first encomium is,' 
&c. &c. For another eulogy of the Long Parliament see The Judgment of ^ 
Martin Bucer concerning Divorce : * And having now perfected a second 
edition, 1 referred the judging thereof to your high and impartial sentence, 
honoured lords and commons. For I was confident, if anything generous, 
anything noble and above the multitude were left yet in the spirit of 
England, it could be nowhere sooner found, and nowhere sooner understood 
than in that house of justice and true liberty where ye sit in council.' 

him who went about, Sec. = Hall, Bishop of Norwich, ' the Remonstrant,* 
who had answered Smectymnuus, and in his answer had 'damned' the 
Parliament 'with faint praise,' as Milton thought ; see above. See Hall's Modest 
Confutation of a Slanderous and Scurrilous Libel intituled Animadversions 
upon the Remonstrant's Defence against Smectymnuus. Milton calls the 
praise Hall confers ' trivial, since it deals in commonplaces ; malignant (dis- 
loyal to the Commonwealth), since it assumes that the Parliament ii 
inseparable from the Crown.* (Jebb.) Hall was of no mean note in literature, 
quite apart from the Smectymnuus controversy, in which he was so mercilessly 
derided. He was one of our earliest writers of formal satire ; his Virgidemiae 
was first published in 1597-9 ; but his prose is better than his verse. His 
Occasional Meditations enjoyed and deserved a wide popularity. He was 
bom at Bristow Park, Leicestershire ; died at Heigham, whither he retired 
after his deposition from his bishopric, in 1656. 

went about to, &c. = found and took the way to, set himself to. Hooker's 
Ecclesiastical Polity, Li: 'He that goeth about to persuade a multitude,' 
&c. 

P. 3, I. 3. ye. ' The confusion between ye and you did not exist in Old 
English. Ye was always used as a nom., and you as a dat. or ace. In 
the English Bible this distinction is very carefully observed, but in the 
dramatists of the Elizabethan period there is a very loose use of the two 
forms. Not only is you used as a nom., but ye is used as an ace* Morris'f 
Historical Outlines of English Accidence, § 155. 



64 AREOPAGITICA. [P. 3. 

11. egrwa// = fair, equitable ; Lit. aequus; Ezek. xxxiii. 20. Cp. unequall, 
below, p. 50. 

12. when as. Cp. whereas, whenso, whereso, whoso, &c. As ( = al so = 
all so) and so may have been affixed to certain relative words to give 
greater precision of meaning; thus whereas = ]usi where, whenas = ]usl when. 
Comp. Gr. 5^ as in kireidrj, &c. 

14. s/a//s/s = statesmen. Johnson quotes Shakspere, Cymb. ii. 4. 17, 
and Par. Reg. iv. 354 (where see Jerram's note) : 

' Their orators thou then extoU'st, as those 
The top of eloquence, statists indeed 
And lovers of their country.' 
See also Hamlet, v. 2. 33. 

16. a triennial Par lament. It was provided by the Act passed Feb. 15, 
1 641 , * for the prevention of inconveniences happening by the long intermission 
of parliaments' (16 Car. I. c. i), that Parliament should meet at least once 
in three years, &c. This Act was repealed in 1664 (16 Car. II. c. i). It 
must not be confounded with what is called ' the Triennial Bill,* passed in 
1694, repealed in 17 16, which enacted that no Parliament should in future 
sit more than three years. 

1 7. that jealous hautinesse, &c. He refers generally to those infamous 
courts, the Star Chamber and the Court of High Commission ; and more 
particularly to the Committee of Council, or Committee of State, ' which 
was reproachfully after called the Junto, and enviously then in the Court the 
Cabinet.' (Clarendon.) Cp. 'the politic Cabin at Whitehall.' (Eikonoklastes.) 

cabin Counsellors. The diminutive form cabinet, which we now prefer, 
is also found in Elizabethan writers; thus Bacon's Essays, Of Counsell : 'The 
doctrine of Italy and practice of France, in some kings' times, hath intro- 
duced cabinet councils.' Cabin is the Fr. cabane, the Low Lat. capanna, 
which is perhaps of Keltic origin ; see Brachet, Diez, Wedgwood. Brachet 
quotes from Isidore of Seville: 'Tugurium parvacasa est; hoc rustici ca/>fl«»a 
vocant.* 

[19. in the midd'st of your victories and successes. Make a list of these.] 

20. brooking. This brook is from the Oldest Eng. brucan, cognate with 
Germ, brauchen, Lat. fruor, fructus^ &c. It occurs in the sense of ' enjoy* 
in the older version of Chevy Chase, 1. 1 29 : 

' But, perse, and I brook my lyffe, thy deth well quyte shall be.' 
See Skeat's Specimens from 1394 to 1579, p. 74; also Morris's Chaucer** 
Prologue, Glossary. Brook, a streamlet, is cognate with break, &c. 

25. cm// = refined, polished, cultivated. So civility = civilisation ; thus 
Davies on Ireland, apud Johnson : * Divers great monarchies have risen from 
barbarism to civility, and fallen again to ruin.* See Jerram's Par. Reg. 
iv. 83. 

28. of being new or insolent ==o( doing anything that seems strange 01 
overweening. Or insolent may have its older meaning of ♦ unosual,' * extn- 
ordinary ' ; see Trench's Select Glossary. 



p. 4.] NOTES, ' 55 

30. the old and elegant hr/manify of Greece. Perhaps no one; — at Jeast 
no modern — has ever studied the Greek writers with intenser appreciation 
and delight than Mihon. See .his Letter to Leonard Philaras the Athenian 
(1654) : ' I have always been devotedly attached to the literature of Greece, 
and particularly to that of your Athens.' See his works passim. The 
Areopagitica itself is an illustration : scarcely more notable even in point of 
form is the Samson Agonistes, In the medieval universities the term 
• humanity* was used especially of Latin culture, as still in Scotland. Greek 
culture was a comparatively new, and still a rare thing in the seventeenth 
century. 

31. 0/ a Hunnish and Norwegian statelines = o( the dictatorial overbearing 
Huns and Goths of the so-called Dark Ages. Ou the Huns see Smith's 
Gibbon, iii. ch. 26. 

^2. polite = polished, refined. 'Polite learning' was a common phrase 
in the last century. For some account of the Revival of Learning, see 
Hallam's Middle Ages, last chapter, and the first chapter of his Literature ot 
Europe. A worthy history of that great movement has yet to be written. 

33. yet = still. See II Penseroso 30, and note in Longer English Poems. 

Jutlanders, i.e. rude and barbarous as were our ancestors before they 
were refined by southern civilisation. Jutes are said to have settled in 
Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. See Smith's Marsh's Lectures on the 
English Language, p. lo; Vernon's Anglo-Saxon Guide, p. 118, &c. 

P. 4. I. him who from his private house, &c. = Isokrates. See Intro- 
duction. 

3. perswades —\s for persuading. So often the present in Latin. 

7. CtVies = States, Lat. civitates. 

iS/monVs = lordships, baronies. So Shakspere, Tempest, i. 2. 70-72: 

• As at that time 
Through all the signiories it was the first. 
And Prospero the prime duke,* &c. 
Richard II, iii. I. 22, iv, i. 89. 

9. Dion Prusaeus was surnamed Chrysostomos, or of the golden lips, for 
his eloquence. He was born at T'rusa in Bithynia, about the middle of the 
first century of our aera ; presently went to Rome. Expelled with other 
philosophers by Domitian, he travelled in Thrace, Mysia, Scythia, and 
amongst the Getae ; he returned to Rome immediately after the accession 
of Nerva ; then to Prusa about 100 A.D., whence in disgust with the petty- 
mindedness of his fellow-citizens he went back to Rome, where he died about 
117 A.D. Niebuhr, in his Lectures on Roman History, iii. 235, 3rd edit. ed. 
Schmitz, speaks with great admiration of his talents. See Smith's larger Greek 
and Roman Biography. The speech here referred to is the Rhodian Discourse 
('Po8m/f6s A.<570s), in which the orator makes his protest against the Rhodian 
habit of re-using, so to speak, their public statues, which were from time 
*o time made to do duty for the reigning favourites, the inscriptions altered. 

13. a life wholly dedicated to studious labours. See Eleg. i. 25 : 

P 



66 AREOPAGITICA, [P. 4. 

* Tempora nam licet hie placidis dare libera Musis, 
Et totum rapiunt me, mea vita, libri.' 
Ad Familiares, Ep. vi : 'It is also in my favour that your method of study 
is such as to admit of frequent interruptions, in which you visit your friends, 
w^rite letters, or go abroad ; but it is my way to suiter no impediment, no 
love of ease, no avocation whatever, to chill the ardour, to break the 
continuity, or divert the completion of my literary pursuits.' Also Ep. vii, 
where he gives some account of his studies : ' I went through the perusal 
of the Greek authors to the time when they ceased to be Greeks,' &c. 
Apology for Smectymnuus : * . , . the wearisome labours and studious 
watchings, wherein I have spent and tired out almost a whole youth.' 
On Education : ' But if you can accept of these few observations which have 
flowered off, and are as it were the burnishing of many studious and con- 
templative years, altogether spent in the search of religious and civil 
knowledge and such as pleased you so well in the relating, I here give you 
them to dispose of.' A Treatise on Christian Doctrine : ' I entered upon an 
assiduous course of study in my youth,' &c. 

14. those natural endowments, &c. He was not always without doubt 
as to whether his genius could flourish in our latitude, so ' far from the sun 
and summer gale' (see Gray's Progress of Poesy, 83), whose beams and 
breath had fostered the wits of Greece. See Reason of Church Govern- 
ment, ii : * If to the instinct of nature and the imboldening of art, aught may 
be trusted ; and that there be nothing adverse in our climate or the fate of 
this age, it haply would be no rashness, from an equal diligence and inclin- 
ation, to present the like offer in our own ancient stories.' Paradise Lost, ix, 
41-47 : 

' Me of these 
Nor skilled nor studious, higher argument 
Remains, sufficient of itself to raise 
That name, unless an age too late, or cold 
Climate, or years, damp my intended wing 
Depress'd ; and much they may, if all be mine, 
Not hers, who brings it nightly to my ear.' 
the worst. It is possible worst may be a misprint for worse; but there is 
no authority for saying that it is so. Certainly the worst gives a quite 
satisfactory meaning, — one wholly different from that which the worse 
would give. [State distinctly the respective meanings.] 

16. derogated = suhtTcicted, the opp. of arrogated. See Cicero, pro Roscio 
Amerino 32: ' Non mihi tantum derogo, tametsi nihil arrogo.^ Milton means 
that, studious as he has been and happy as he is in his birth country, yet he 
cannot equal himself with those orators to whom he has just referred ; what 
is wanting in him as compared with those orators must be more than com- 
pensated for by the superiority of the audience he addresses to those whom 
they for the most part addressed. 

17. obtain. Cp. Dryden apvd Johnson: ♦ The conclusion of the story I 



p. 5.] NOTES. 67 

forbore, because I could not obtain from myself to shew Absolbm unfor- 
tunate.* 

31. that Order. See Introduction. 

P. 5, 1. 3. that part which preserves, &c. = which acknowledges and protects 

• copyright.' See in the Order the sentence beginning, ' And that no person 
or persons shall hereafter print, or cause to be printed,' &c. Cp. Clause vii. 
of the Star Chamber Decree. 

4. or provides for the poor. See that same sentence. 

6. painful = painstaking, laborious. See Trench's Select Glossary, s. v. 
Fuller's Holy State, ii. 6 : • O the holiness of their living and painfulness of 
their preaching.' 

7. Observe the divisions of the Speech here proposed. He will point 
out who are 

I. The Authors of the book-licensing system, pp. 5-13. 

II. 'What is to be thought in general of reading books, whatever sort they 
be, and whether be more the benefit or harm that thence proceeds,' 
pp. 13-22. 

III. • That this order of licensing conduces nothing to the end for which it 
was framed,' pp. 22-29. 

IV. It will not only do no good ; it will do immense harm in discouraging 
the pursuit of learning and the search after truth, pp. 29 to end. 

that other clause, &c. See the sentence beginning ' It is therefore 
ordered,' &c. 

brother is adjectival here, = brother-like, i.e. kindred, cognate. Comp. 

* brother-love' in Henry VIII, v. 3. 173. For the meaning comp. the Greek 
aZi\(p6s, as in Soph. Antig. 192: koX vvv dScX^d rwj/Se Ktjpv^as €X<y. 
Notice too our common use of ' sister' in a metaphorical sense. 

8. his. Its was scarcely yet admitted into literary English. See note on its 
in Longer English Poems, p. 223; also Morris's English Accidence, § 172, 

quadragesimal = Lenten. Thus Sanderson a/>M</ Johnson : * I have com- 
posed prayers out of the Church Collects adventural, quadragesimal, paschal, 
or Pentecostal.' Holt White quotes from Cartwright's Ordinary : 
* But quadragesimal wits and fancies leane 
As Ember weeks.* 
(Hazlitt's Dodsley's Old English Plays, xil. 268.) Comp. Quadragesima 
Sunday = 1st Sunday in Lent. Milton here refers to the restrictions as to 
food during Lent, which were in some degree retained by the English Church 
after the Reformation. Certain days were appointed for * fish-days,' for the 
non-observance of which ' licenses' were granted. ' Queen Elizabeth used to 
say that she would never eat flesh in Lent without obtaining license from her 
little black husband' ( = Archbishop Whitgift). (Walton's life of Hooker.) 
See also 2 Henry IV, ii. 4. 375. 

9. matrimonial = marriage licenses. Milton regarded marriage simply 
«t a civil contract, not at all as a ' sacrament,' It was formally made so by 
an Ordinance, and in 1653 by an Act of Parliament, ratified in 1656. See 

P 2 



68 AREOPAGITICA, [P. 5, 

The Likeliest Means to remove Hirelings out of the Church : ' As for 
marriages, that ministers should meddle with them, as not sanctified or 
legitimate without their celebration, I find no ground in Scripture either of 
precept or example. Likeliest it is (which our Selden hath well observed, 1. ii. 
c. 58 Ux. Eb.) that in imitation of heathen priests, who were wont at 
nuptials to use many rites and ceremonies, and especially judging it would be 
profitable and the encrease of their authority not to be spectators only in 
a business of such concernment to the life of man, they insinuated that 
marriage was not holy without their benediction, and for the better colour 
made it a Sacrament, being of itself a civil ordinance, a household contract,' 
&c., &c. (Works, p. 431.) 

when the Prelats expired. Episcopacy was not formally .abolished till 
October 9, 1646 ; but the bishops had lost their 'status' some years before. 
They were ejected from the House of Peers early in 1641, and so had 
'expired* as 'prelates,' the title 'prelates' denoting their civil position: 
see Holt White's note on Prelaty and Episcopacy, p. 122. 

attend=\xiixi towards, direct my mind to. So the Latin attendo, as Cicero, 
Philippics, ii. 12. 30: ' Stuporem hominis attendite.^ 

10. homily. Cp. As You Like It, iii. 2. 164: 'What tedious homily of 
love have you wearied your parishioners withal, and never cried Have 
patience, good people.' The word originally means (i) ' communion,' 
'intercourse'; (ii) then especially the association of pupil with master, and 
so instruction ; and (iii) lastly, a special form of ecclesiastical instruction. 
For (ii) see Xenophon's Memorabilia, i. 2. 6 : lavs 8e Xa/xPavovTas Tf\% 
o\x,i\ias fxiaOov avSpanodiaTcLs kavrwv CLTieKaXfi hia rb dvayKaiov avTOis 
flvai diaXcyeaOai trap' u)v dv Xd^onv tuv fxiaOov. So lb. 15 ; comp. 
6fJLiXir]Td in 12. (Comp, (poiTciv ei's Tiva, as Aristophanes, Equites 1 235.) 

18. disexercising. I cannot find any other occurrence of this word. 

19. cropping. The A.S. cro/> =top, bunch, craw of a bird. According 
to Wedgwood the radical notion is a knob ; Gael, crap, cnap, Welsh crob, 
crwb, crub, Ital. groppo. In Piers Plowman, xvi. 42, B. text, it = a tree- 
top; cp. Chaucer's Prologue 7. To crop = to take the top off; comp. to 
top, to skin, to peel, &c. 



22. He now addresses himself to Point I, see p. 67. 

27. but doe contain, &c. Cp. Bacon's Advancement of Learning, I. 
viii. 6, p. 72, ed. Aldis Wright : ' It is not possible to have the true pictures 
or statues of Cyrus, Alexander, Caesar, no, nor of the kings or great person- 
ages of much later years; for the originals cannot last, and the copies cannot 
but leese of the life and truth. But the images of men's wits and knowledges 
remain in books, exempted from the wrong of time and capable of perpetual 
renovation. Neither are they fitly to be called images because they generate 
still and cast their seeds in the minds of others, provoking and causing in- 
finite actions and opinions in succeeding ages.' &c. 



p. 6.] NOTES, ' 69 

29. v/o// = vial = phial, Gr. 0mXi7. 

32. those fabulous Dragons teeth. See the story of Jason, how by 
Medea's direction he sowed the teeth of the Colchian dragon, and there 
sprang up men all armed, Ovid's Metamorphoses, vii. 121, et seq. : 
* Galea turn sumit ahena 
Vipereos dentes, et aratos spargit in agros. 
Semina mollit humus,* &c. 
The story is charmingly told in the eighth book of Morris's Jason. Cp. the 
story of Cadmus, also that of Deucalion. 
[P. 6, 1. 2. What does almost qualify?] 

6. a burden to the Earth. Cp. the Homeric ax^os apovprjs (Iliad, xviii. 
104; Odyssey, xx. 379). So Lat. pondera terrae. (Liddell and Scott.) 

7. life-blood. Shakspere, 3 Henry VI, i. 4. 138: 

•How couldst thou drain the life blood of the child?* 
Merchant of Venice, iii. 2. 269, Sec. ; Paradise Lost, viii. 467. The word 
probably points to some old physiological theory as to the identity of life 
and blood, Cp, Genesis ix. 4 : ' But flesh with the life thereof, which is 
the blood thereoj, shall ye not eat.' 

[8. What is meant by on purpose here ?] 

10. revolutions of ages, &c. Thus the wisdom of the ancient world was 
lost with the fall of the Roman empire, and not recovered in any consider- 
able degree for many a long century ; and certainly Europe fared the worse, 

12. the worse. 'The 'here is an old ablative = /At, the. Cp, Latin ^o. 
See Morris's English Accidence, § 178. 

14, 5'/)/// = destroy. Sometimes = to die. See Morris and Skeat's Speci- 
mens 1 298-1 393, Glossary. ^ 

18. an elementall life, &c. Cp. Paradise Lost, iii. 714-21 : 

• Swift to their several quarters hasted then 
The cumbrous element, earth, flood, air, fire; 
And this etherial quintessence of heaven 
Flew upward, spirited with various forms. 
That rolled orbicular and turned to stars,' &c. 
So Uriel, the sun-angel, to Satan, of the creation of the world. ' This notion 
our author borrowed from Aristotle and others of the ancient philosophers, 
who supposed that besides the four elements there was likewise an ethereal 
quintessence or fifth essence, and its motion was orbicular: ilvai dk rrapd. 
rd. Ttaaapa CTOixf^a. Koi dWo irefJiirTov, «£ ov ra alOipia avveardvai' 
dWoiav b' avTOv tt^j' Kivrjaiv fTvai, /evK\o<popi/cfjv yap ; which are the 
very words of Diogenes Laertiiis in his life of Aristotle.' (Newton.) 

19. fift essence =^ quintessence. Lat. quinta essentia. Essentia is Cicero's 
translation of the Gr. ovaia. On the ionw fift see Variorum Shakspere, ed. 
1813. ii. 183. 

21. condemned of, &c. We should say •condemned for'; but we still 
jay 'accused of,' 'convicted of.' Holt White quotes from Lily's Euphnes: 
* That thou shouldst condemn me of rigor,' &c. 



70 AREOPAGITICA. [P. 6. 

[22. licence. State clearly the two different meanings oi license, on which 
there is a play here,] 

26. /A« Inquisition. ' The Holy Inquisition,' or ' The Holy Office ' 
{Sanctum Officium), was first conceived by Pope Innocent III, when, about 
the beginning of the thirteenth century, the Albigenses dared to entertain 
irregular doctrines. After that execrable inauguration, it was presently 
introduced into other parts of France, into Italy, and, in the face of much 
notable opposition, into Spain ; but its power declined everywhere, partly 
because there arose no fresh victims for its energy. In the last-named 
country, towards the close of the fifteenth century, it was revivified and 
organized by Ferdinand and Isabella, to whom it recommended itself as an 
excellent instrument for plundering the Jews and crushing the Mahom- 
medans of the peninsula. The Cardinal Pedro Gonzalez de Mendoza lent 
his help. Thomas de Torquemada, prior to the Dominican convent at 
Segovia and father-confessor to Mendoza, was appointed first Grand In- 
quisitor in 1478. * He had two hundred familiars and a guard of fifty horse- 
men.' The new court was opened at Seville in 148 1. 'Spanish writers 
relate that above seventeen thousand gave themselves up to the Inquisition ; 
more than two thousand were condemned to the flames the first year, 
and great numbers fled to neighbouring countries.' In 1 48 3 the Pope, who 
had opposed the new institution, as the conversion of an ecclesiastical 
into a secular tribunal, formally acknowledged Torquemada. In I484 the 
jurisdiction was accurately defined. As late as 1 763 'heretics' were burned 
oy this deadly Office. It was abolished by Napoleon in 1808, revived in 
1814, abolished again and finally in 1820. See Popular Encyclopaedia, s. v., 
which q^uotes from Llorente's History of the Spanish Inquisition (Paris, 18 15; 
in English, London, 1827). 

27. catcht . . . caught. Observe the two forms of the past participle. 
Milton seems to regard * catch up ' as a compound, and inflects it differently 
from the simple verb. 

28. Presbyters. Presbyterianism had now superseded Episcopalianism. 
Milton was presently to discover that the new -ism was as little liberal 
as the old. See above, p. 62. 

29. Athens where, &c. See Paradise Regained, iv. 240-43: 

'Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts 
And eloquence, native to famous wits 
Or hospitable, in her sweet recess, 
City or suburban, studious walks and shades.' 
Cp, the great speech of Pericles, Thucydides, ii. 36-44, especially 41 : 
^vvf\6iv T€ ^.€70; rijv T€ vaaav iroKiv rrjs 'EAAaSos vaiSevaiv flvai, 
K.T.K See Jerram's Par. Reg. iv. 239. 

33. Thus the Books of Protagoras, &c. He does not aim at being 
exhaustive, or he might have mentioned the indictments of Anaxagoras 
and of Aspasia for 'impiety.' See Grote's Greece, iv. 231, edit. 1862. 
Protagoras, the first 'Sophist,' was born at Abdera in Thrace, aboul 



p. 7.] NOTES. 71 

B.C. 480. Before 445 he was living at Athens, where, in 41 1, he was 
accused of impiety by one Puthodoros, on the ground that in a book on the 
gods {nepl Oeuiv) he had stated that he was unable to know whether they 
existed or not. See Diogenes Laertius, ix. 54. Socrates in Plato's Theaitetos, 
162 D, makes Protagoras or dWos ris virep avrov speak of the gods as ovs 
(yw €K T€ Tov X4y€iv KOI Tov ypoLcpiiv TTfpl avTOJV, ws ilalv fi dis om daiv, 
e^aipw. 

P. 7, 1. 1. Areopagus. See Introduction. 

6. Vet7is CoTnoedia = ihe earlier Greek comedy — the comedy of Kratinos, 
Eupolis, Aristophanes; Horace's ' Comoedia prisca.' (Satires, i. 4. 1-5.) It 
indulged in the broadest personalities (see Aristophanes' plays passim, e. g. 
his representations of Kleon, of Sokrates, of Euripides) ; aqd at last was 
muzzled. See Horace, Ep. ad Pisones, 281-84: 

* Successit vetus his comoedia, non sine multa 
Laude ; sed in vitium libertas excidit et vim 
Dignam lege regi ; lex est accepta, chorusque 
Turpiter obticuit sublato jure nccendi.' 

7. quick = vitil, vigorous, &c. See Heb. iv. 12. 

8. as Cicero writes. See his De Natura Deorum, i. 23: 'Quid? Diagoras, 
atheos qui dictus est, posteaque Theodorus, nonne aperte deorum naturam 
sustulerunt? Nam Abderites quidem Protagoras, cujus a te modo mentio facta 
est, Sophistes temporibus illis vel maximus, cum in principio libri sui sic posu- 
isset, "De divis neque ut sint neque ut non sint habeo dicere," Atheniensium 
jussu urbe atque agro est exterminatus librique ejus in concione combusti. 
Ex quo quidem existimo tardiores ad hanc sententiam profitendam multos esse 
factos, quippe cum poenam ne dubitatio quidem effugere potuisset.' 

quell = ki\\. See 2 Hen. IV, ii. I. 59; Macb. i. vii. 72 ; Par. Reg. iv. 634, 

9. as the event shew'd. Observe ' obticuit ' in the quotation given above 
from Horace. 

13, Epicurus was born in Samos B.C. 342, went to live at Athens in 
306, there founded a famous school, and died in 270. His leading ethical 
tenet, that men were to be virtuous in order to be happy, was soon distorted. 
All that was observed was the end he proposed. The means for acquiring 
it which he enjoined were ignored ; and thus Epicureanism was degraded 
into mere self-indulgence, and the garden became ' a sty.' 

that libertine school of Cyrene = the school founded by Aristippos about 
B.C. 370. He identified the chief good with pleasure. Cicero's Academica, 
ii. 42. 131 : 'Alii voluptatem finem esse voluerunt, quorum princeps Aristippus, 
qui Socratem audierat, unde Cyrenaici'; see also Tusculanae Disputationes, 
ii. 6. 15. He would let nothing trouble him if he could help it. When on 
a journey his gold impeded his progress, he ordered it to be thrown away. 
See Horace, Satires, ii. 3. 99-102 ; also Epistles, i. 17. 13-15, and i. i. 17-18 : 
'Nunc in Aristippi furtim praecepta relabor, 
Et mihi res, non me rebus, subjungere conor.* 

/ift«r/in« = originally a manumitted slave, as always in pure Latin. So 



72 AREOPAGITICA, [P. 7, 

Acts vi. 9. In various modern languages the word has been adopted in 
a secondary sense to denote one released from all proper moral restraint, 
who acknowledges no law. See Shakspere, Hamlet, i. 3. 49 ; Bacon's Essays, 
on Marriage, &c. In the seventeenth century, in religious matters libertmes 
= 'free-thinkers.' See Trench's Select Glossary. The moral the word conveys 
— how unregulated liberty becomes license — may be illustrated from Words- 
worth's Ode to Duty; see especially 

' Me this unchartered freedom tires ; 
I feel the weight of chance desires.' 
14. the Cynick impudence. The phrase, as Holt White notes, is from 
Diogenes Laertius {itpbs ttjv kvviktjv di/ai(rxwT/ai/, p. 164, fol. 1664). 
Antisthenes, a pupil of Sokrates — he had previously been a pupil of Gorgias 
— formed a school on Sokrates' death, and chose for his place of meeting 
a public place in that quarter of Athens called the Cynosarges, from which 
some say the sect of Cynics derives its name ; others derive it from the 
snarling propensities of the founder, who was frequently called ' the Dog.' 
The fame of Antisthenes has been surpassed by that of his disciple Diogenes 
of Sinope. Milton means by ' the Cynic impudence ' that insolence of 
manner and of language, that rude and unqualified contempt of humanity, 
that especially characterised the philosopher of the tub. See the various 
anecdotes of him ; e. g. he said he had never seen men ; at Sparta he had 
seen children ; at Athens, women. Lewes' Biographical History of Philo- 
sophy; Ritter and Preller's Hist. Phil. Gr. et Rom. §§ 221-8. 

17. Plato commended, &c. Holt White quotes from Petit's (Samuel 
Petit, 1 594-1643, author also of Leges Atticae) De Vita et Scriptis Aristo- 
phanis : ' Quod autem magis mirandum, Plato, tantus Socratis propugnator, 
Dionysio regi Syracusano statum reipublicae Atheniensis et linguam ex 
optimo autore perdiscere cupienti Aristophanis Coinoedias misit ut ex iis 
linguam et ingenium Atheniensium simul cognosceret.' On the intercourse 
between Plato and Dioiiysius, see Grote, vii. ch. 83, edit. 1862. 

18. Aristophanes. Born about 444, died about 380 B.C. See Donald- 
son's MftUer's Literature of Ancient Greece. 

the loosest of them all. Aristophanes is ' loose ' as Chaucer is * loose ; 
that is, he is at times altogether plain-spoken. There is nothing in 
him of the infinitely worse * looseness ' of innuendo and suggestion, no under- 
current of indecency beneath a respectable surface. 

19. Dionysitis, the elder. Tyrant of Syracuse from 405-367 B.C. See 
Grote 's Greece, vii. chap. 83. 

20. holy Chrysostome — ' Saint' Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, the 
eloquent ' Father ' ; born at Antioch about 347, died at Comana in Asia 
Minor 407 A.D. See Gibbon's Roman Empire, iv. ch. 3a : ' The sixth 
book of Socrates, the eighth of Sozomen, and the fifth of Theodoret, aflFord 
curious and authentic materials for the Hfe of John Chrysostom.* 

as is reported, &c. See a letter from iEmilius Portus, in an epistle to 
Bisetus, one of the scholiasts of Aristophanes, quoted in the Encyclopaedia 



I 



p. 7.J NOTES. 73 

MetropoHtana, History of Greek Literature. Holt White quotes from 
Menage's vindication of himself for reading Rabelais : • Clement Alexandrin 
cite a toute heure Aristophanes. S. Jan. Cbrysostome le lisoit continuellement, 
et le mettoit la nuit sous son chevet, si on en croit Aide Manuce dans la 
Dedicace dcs CEuvres de ce Comique ; car je ne say point d'auteur plus 
ancien qui ait fait mention de cette amitie de S. Jan Chrysostome pour les 
Comedies d'Aristophane.' (Avis au Lecteur, prefixed to the second part 
of his Observations sur la Langue Fran^oise.) But here, as elsewhere, 
Menage's knowledge was at fault. Plato is said to have pillowed his head 
on a copy of Sophron's Mimes. 

34. Lycitrgiis, the Spartan lawgiver, flourished in the ninth century b.c. 
See Grote, ii. chap. 6, ' Laws and Discipline of Lykurgus at Sparta.' 

25. was so addicted, &c. Milton's authority here is Plutarch's Life of 
Lykurgos : 6«et 5e [in ' Asia '] Kal toTs 'Ofx-qpov voirjf^aaiv evTvxoJV npajToi', 
us (oiK€, /f,T.A.. = ' There also, probably, he met with Homer's poems, which 
were preserved by the posterity of Cleophylus. Observing that many moral 
sentences and much political knowledge were intermixed with his stories, 
which had an irresistible charm, he collected them into one body and tran- 
scribed them with pleasure, in order to take them home with him. For his 
glorious poetry was not yet fully known in Greece ; only some particular 
pieces were in a few hands, as they happened to be dispersed. Lycurgus 
was the first that made them generally known.' (Langhorne.) 

27. the poet Thales, or Thaletas, not to be confounded with 'the Wise 
Man ' of Miletus. See Plutarch's Lykurgos: 'Among the friends he gained at 
Crete was Thales, with whom he had interest enough to persuade him to go 

and settle at Sparta For his Odes were so many persuasives to 

obediencfe and unanimity; as by means of melody and numbers they had great 
grace and power, they softened insensibly the manners of the audience, drew 
them off from the animosities which then prevailed, and united them in zeal 
for excellence and virtue.' (Langhorne.) See the account of Thaletas — he 
'makes the third epoch in the history of Greek music' — in Donaldson's 
Miiller : ' In fact Thaletas lived several centuries [probably two] later thau 
Lycurgus, having been one of the musicians who assisted in perfecting 
Terpander's musical system at Sparta and giving it a new and fixed form.' 

28. surlinesse. iSwr/y = etymologically, sour-like. In A.S. the adj. snrelic 
does not seem to occur ; but there is the adv. presumably formed from it, 
viz, surel'ice. Cp. Germ, sduerlich. Wedgwood's suggestion that it is from 
• sirlike, magisterial, arrogant,' seems not very valuable. 

30. museless = afxov(Toi, as Euripides, Ion 526: 

ov <pi\u) (l>pfvovv a/xovaovs Kal fKfXTjvoras ^evovs. 
Aristophanes, Vespae 107,1, &c. Plato couples dfxovaia with dncipoKaXia, 
Republic, 403 C. 

33. their owne LacnnicJc Apothegms. Plato speaks of PpaxvXoyia ti% 
AcLKcuviKT] = * a. sort of laconic terseness' (Protagoras, 343 B). in his De 
Legibus (641 E) he speaks of Lacedaemon being commonly known as Ppaxv- 



74 AREOPAGITICA. [P. 7, 

Koyos, Crete as iroXvXoyos, &c. The ancient writers, and indeed the 
modern, abound with references to, and instances of, this Spartan charac- 
teristic. See Plutarch's Lives passim, and his (or his son's) collection of 
Apothegms; Cicero's Ep. Fam. xi. 25. 2, &c. It has given us the word 
laconic in the sense of terse. 

apothegms. Properly spelled apophthegms. Gr. dir6<p9ey}jLa, lit. = some- 
thing said plainly. 

P. 8,1. I. Archilochus. Flor. 714-676 b.c. * Plutarch (Inst. Lacon. 
239 B) states that Archilochus was banished from Sparta the very hour 
that he arrived there because he had written in his poems that a man had 
better throw away his arms than lose his life. But Valerius Maximus 
(vi. 3. extr. 1) says that the poems of Archilochus were forbidden at Sparta 
because of their licentiousness, and especially on account of the attack on the 
daughter of Lycambes. It must remain doubtful whether a confusion has 
been made between the personal history of the poet and the fate of his 
works,' &c. (Smith's Diet.) For further account of him see Donaldson's 
Miiller, Grote, iii. chap. 29, &c. The lines which, according to Plutarch's 
account, disgusted Spartan fortitude may be found in Schneidewin's Delectus 
Poet. Elegiac. Graec. p. 173: 

dcrmSi fXiv 'Xaiojv ris dyaWerai, ■^v vapcL 6afXV(p 
iVTOS afKjjjxriTov kolXKltiov ovk iOeXojv' 

avTos 8' k^€(pvyov Oavdrov reXos' dams (Keivij 
IppeTco' e^avTis KTTjaofmi ov KaKio}. 

2. perhaps for composing, &c. Unhappily what remains of Archilochus' 
writing is too fragmentary to enable us to form any adequate idea of him. 
Horace imitated him in his Epodes * as to form and spirit, but not as to sub- 
ject'; see Horace, Ep. i. 19. 23-25: 

* Parios ego primus iambos 
Ostendi Latio, numeros animumque secutus 
Archilochi, non res et agentia verba Lycamben. 

3. their owne sottldiery ballots, &c. The most famous writer of these war 
songs was in all probability not a Spartan born, but a native of Aphidnae in 
Attica ; it was Tyrtaeus. See what remains of him in Schneidewin. 

ballats and roundels are often mentioned together. See e. g. Warton's 
Hist. Eng. Poetry, ed. 1840, ii. 222 note: ' About this time [1380] a Prior 
of Genevieve at Paris wrote a small treatise, entitled V Art de dictier 
Ballades et Rondelles,' &c. 

ballats. Ballot or ballad, Fr. ballade, is by no means confined in older 
usage to its present meaning of a certain kind of popular narrative poem. 
It came to be so confined, I think, only in the last century on the revival of 
medieval literature. In the older writers it means a song of any sort ; thus 
Shakspere in As You Like It (ii. 7. 148) speaks of 

' the lover 
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad 
Made to his mistress* eyebrow,* &c. 



p. 8.] NOTES, 75 

No doubt it originally denoted a dance-song (cp. the following note on 
Roundel) ; and is cognate with our ball (a dance-party), ballet, &c., from 
Low Lat, ballare, Ital. ballare, to dance. For the spelling, comp. ballet. 

roundels, Fr. ro?tdelles. Cp. roundelay, Fr. rondelet. Roundel properly 
means * anything round,' as a shield, a trencher, &c. ; see Nares' Glossary. 
In Midsummer Night's Dream, ii. 3. i, &c., roundel = A dance; not what we 
call *a round dance,* but a dance in a ring. From meaning ' a ring dance' 
it was used for a song sung by the dancers, or during a dance ; cp. 1. c. : 

* Come, now a roundel and a fairy song.' 
(So at this day in the Faroe Islands : ' They use no instrumental music, but 

dance to songs The object of the song is not only to regulate the 

steps, but at the same time to awaken certain feelings by its meaning.' See 
Prior's Ancient Danish Ballads, Introduction, p. v.) Steevens says it was 
sometimes used to signify • a song beginning or ending with the same 
sentence; redit in orbem.' Johnson quotes from the Dictionnaire de Trevoux 
a not inconsistent but much more minute definition. See what Spenser calls 
a 'roundle' or 'roundelay' in the Shepherd's Calendar, August. 

6. coni/^rs/n^ = manner of life. Cp. 'conversation,* I Pet. i. 15, &c. 
When Eve says ' with thee conversing ' &c. (Paradise Lost, iv. 639) she 
means not merely ' with thee talking,' but 'with thee associating.' It is the 
Latin use ; thus Seneca's Ep. 99 : ' nemo libenter tristi conversatur, nedum 
tristitiae.' 

whence Euripides, &c. See the Andromache, 590 et seq., where Peleus 
enters to arrest Menelaus in his seizure of the heroine, and abuses roundly 
both him and Helen and Spartan ways in respect of women. The lines 
specially alluded to are : 

oitS* av €t PovXoitS m 
aij^puv ylvoiTO ^TTapTiaridajv Koprj, k,t,\. 
On the 'promiscuous conversing' of Spartan life — how the women lived 
a public life strangely contrasting with that of the women in other Greek 
cities — how they despised spinning and weaving, and exercised themselves 
in running, boxing and wrestling — see Grote's Greece, ii. chap. 6. See 
Cicero, Tusc. Disp. ii. 15, &c. As to the charge here quoted against them 
see Plutarch's Lykurgos, chap. 15, who says it was different in the older 
times, so different ware oXcos dniarov eJuai ro tt^s ixoix^'ias nap' avTois = 
that amongst them the crime of aduhery was altogether incredible. 

8. a//er = according to, as to, regarding. Cp. 'after our iniquities,' in the 
Book of Common Prayer. 

10. for ynany ages, &c. See Horace, Ep. ii, i. 156-163: 
* Graecia capta ferum victorem ccpit et artes 
Intulit agresti Latio: sic horridus ille 
Defluxit numerus Saturnius, et grave virus 
Munditiae pepulere; sed in longum tamen aevum 
Manserunt hodieque maneut vestigia ruris,' &c. 
See also Cicero, Tusc. Disp., i. i, a. 



y6 AREOPAGITICA. [P. S. 

II. resembling . . . o/= bearing the semblance of. 

13. their twelve Tables = the famous code formed by the Decemvirs; see 
Dickson's Mommsen's History of Rome, book ii. chap. 2. There were 
originally ten, 'passed' in 451; 'but as a supplement appeared necessary, 
decemvirs were again nominated in the year 304 [a.u.c. ; B.C. 450], who 
added two more tables. Thus origuiated the first and only legal code of 
Rome.' 

13. the PontificTi College. See Dickson's Mommsen, book 1. chap. 12: 
' The five " bridge-makers " (pontifices) derived their name from their 
function, as sacred as it was politically important, of conducting the building 
and demolition of the bridge over the Tiber. They were the Roman 
engineers, who understood the njystery of measures and numbers; whence 
there devolved upon them also the duties of managing the calendar of 
the state, of proclaiming to the people the time of new and full moon, and 
the days of festivals, and of seeing that every religious and every judicial 

act took place on the right day Thus they acquired (although not 

probably in its full extent till after the abolition of the monarchy) the general 
oversight of Roman worship and of whatever was connected with it — and 
what was there that was not so connected?' &c. 

their Augurs. ' The six Augurs were skilled in interpreting the language 
of the gods from the flight of birds, an art which was prosecuted with great 
earnestness and reduced to a quasi-scientific system.' Dickson's Mommsen, 
i. 178, &c. The aw- = av/- = bird. 

The Flamens were priests attached to the service of certain special gods, 
as of Mars, Jupiter, Pomona, &c., and in later times of the deified emperors. 
Three were of superior distinction (maiores) — those of Jupiter, Mars, and 
Quirinus ( = Mars. See Dickson's Mommsen, i. 87). Varro derives the 
name from the fillet worn round the head — ' quod in Latk) capite uelato 
erant semper ac caput cinctum habebant filo.' More probably the word is 
connected with flare, and means the ' kindler,' as the priest ' was designated 
from presenting burnt-offerings.' See Dickson's Mommsen, i. 175, &c. 

14. So unacquainted, &c. On Roman un-culture, see Mommsen, book iii. 
chap. 14. 

15. that when, &c. This was in 155 B.C. The object of the embassy 
was to deprecate the fine of 500 talents imposed on the Athenians for the 
destruction of Oropus. See Cicero, Tusc. Disp. iv. 3 ; Polybius, xxxiii. I. 

Carneades, born at Cyrene circ. 213, died 1-29 B.C., was founder of the 
New Academy at Athens. It was at Rome during his ambassadorial visit 
in 155 B.C. that he delivered his lectures on Justice, in the second of which 
he dexterously refuted the arguments advanced in the first. 

Critolaus, born at Phaselis in Lycia, succeeded Ariston as the head of the 
Peripatetic school. 

16. the Stoick Diogenes = Diogenes Babylonios (born at Seleucia in 
Babylonia), succeeded Zeno of Tarsus as the head of the Stoic school. Be 
sine not to confound him with the Cynic Diogenes.. On the Stoics see 



p. 8.] NOTES, 77 

Lewes; also Paradise Regained, iv, 300-318. They derived their name from 
Zeno's having opened his school in the Stoa Poikile. 

Embassadors. For the e cp. Embassy. The word is of Teutonic origin. 
Cp. Mod. Germ. A7n(. 

19. Caio the Ce?isor = the famous Marcus Fortius Cato, ' Cato Major,' 
Censor in 184. See Dickson's Monmisen, ii. 349 et seq. 'It has been the 
custom to laugh at Cato for his dogged opposition to everything Greek; but 
there was much truth in his denunciations. We have heard much of young 
Bengal — young Hindus who read Byron and Voltaire, play at billiards, drive 
tandems, laugh at their priests, patronise missionaries, and believe nothing. 
The description which Cato gives of the young idlers at Rome reminds 
ns very much of young Bengal.' (Max Miiller's Lectures on the Science of 
Language, 1st Series, 2nd ed. pp. 98, 99.) Cp, Mommsen, iii. 429: 'On this 
occasion at least Cato could not be found fault with when he not only bluntly 
enough compared the dialectic arguments of the philosophers to the tedious 
dirges of the wailing women, but also insisted on the senate dismissing a 
man who understood the art of making right wrong and wrong right, and 
whose defence was in fact nothing but a shameless and almost insulting 
confession of injustice.' See Bacon's Adv. of Learning, pp. 10, 1 1, Clar. 
Press ed. 

jwov'fi? iV = brought forward a motion. This use of// is common enough 
in 'Elizabethan' English; thus 'trip it' in L'Allegro 33, 'dance it' in 
Midsummer Night's Dream, v. i, 403, &c. See an attempt to explain it in 
Longer English Poems, p, 236. 

21. bablers. So Acts xvii. 18. 

Scipio. This was the younger Scipio, the destroyer of Carthage, the 
friend of Polybius, Terence, Panaetius, and Lucilius ; a Scipio by adoption, by 
birth the son of Lucius -ff)milius Paulus. Cicero makes him the chief 
speaker in his De Republica, 

others of the noblest Setiafors, as Laellus, 

2 2. his old Sabin austerity. Cato was brought up at his father's farm 
in the Sabine territory ; and to that farm he returned at intervals in his later 
life, living plainly and frugally after the old fashion, and so protesting by his 
practice, as always by his theory, against the luxury beginning to prevail in 
the Rome of his day. He would find the Sabines congenial neighbours. They 
became proverbial for their rough simple life. See Juvenal, x. 298-9: 
' Sanctos licet horrida mores 
Tradiderit domus, ac veteres imitata Snbinos,' &c. ; 
also iii. 85 and 169, vi. 164; cp. ' Curibusque severis,' Aen, viii. 638, 8<:c. ; 
see ©ther passages referred to by Mayor in his note to Juvenal, 1. c. Livy 
(i. 18) speaks of ' disciplina tetrica ac tristis veterum Sabinorum quo genere 
nullum quondam incorruptius fuit.' 

24. at last in his old age. Sec. Near the close of his life he set himself to 
study Greek literature. Cornelius Nepos, after mentioning other accomplish- 
ments, says of him: 'cupidissimus literarum fuit; quarum studium ctsi senior 



78 AREOPAGITICA, [P. 8. 

arripuerat, tamen tantum progressum fecit ut non facile rcperiri possit neque 
de Graecis neque de Italicis rebus quod ei fuerit incognitum.' In Cicero de 
Senectute, Cato is made to speak of himself as one 'qui Graecas literas senex 
didici.* ' He misliked and cried out upon all Greek learning ; and yet being 
80 years old, began to learn it ; belike fearing that Pluto understood not 
Latin.' (Sidney's Apol, for Poetrie, p. 56, ed. Arber). Bacon's Adv. of 
Learning, p. 1 7 of Clar. Press ed. 

26. Naevius and Plantus, &c. See Dickson's Mommsen, book iii. chap. 
14. Mommsen speaks of Naevius as 'the first Roman who deserves to be 
called a poet, and, so far as the accounts preserved regarding him and the 
few fragments of his works allow us to form an opinion, to all appearances 
one of the most remarkable and most important names in the whole range 
of Roman literature,' &c. He was born between 274 and 264 B.C., died 
about the close of the century. Plautus was born circ. 254, died in 184. 

37. the borrowed scenes, &c. See Mommsen, 1. c. Menander lived from 
342 to 291 B.C. He was more particularly imitated by Terence. Philemon 
was in date a little senior to Menander. A third ' new comedian ' much 
followed by the Roman playwrights was Diphilus. For what remains of 
these poets see Meineke's Fragmenta Comicorum Graecorum, and the works 
of Plautus and Terence passim. Donaldson's MUUer's Anc. Gr. Lit. 

30. for Naevius, &c. See Dickson's Mommsen, ii. 431 : 'Although he 
did not write exactly original Roman comedies, the few fragments of his, 
which we possess, are full of references to circumstances and persons in 
Rome. Among other liberties he not only ridiculed one Theodotus a 
painter by name, but even directed against the victor of Zama . . verses, of 
which Aristophanes need not have been ashamed : as he himself says, 

" Libera lingua loquemur ludis Liberalibus," 
he probably often wrote offensively and put dangerous questions, such as 
" Cedo qui vestram rem publicam tantam amisistis tam cito ? " 
which he answered by an enumeration of political sins, such as 

" Proveniebant oratores novi, stulti adulescentuli." 
But the Roman police was not disposed like the Attic to hold stage-invectivei 
and political diatribes as privileged, or even tolerate them at all,' &c. His 
sarcasm against the MetelH — 

• Fato Metelli Romae fiunt consules' — 
is said to have specially caused his imprisonment. In his confinement he 
composed two of his comedies — the Hariolus and the Leon ; and ' for the 
sake of these, which were a sort of recantation of his former lampoons, he 
was set at liberty by the tribunes of the Commons.' (Encycl. Metropol. 
Rom. Lit.) See Aulus Gellius, i. 24, vi. 18, &c. Plautus is supposed to 
allude to his confinement in his Miles Gloriosus, ii. 2. 58 : 

• Ecce autem aedificat ; columnam mento suffulsit sue. 
Apage ! non placet profecto mi ilia inaedificatio ; 
Nam OS columnatum poetae esse indaudiui barbaro, 
Quoi bini custodes semper totis horis accubant.' 



p. 9.] NOTES. 79 

32. that libels were burnt, &c. See Tacitus' Annals, 1. 73 : * Primus Au- 
gustus cognitionem de famosis libellis specie legis ejus [ = legis Corneliat 
majestatis] tractavit, commotus Cassii Severi libidine, qua viros feminasque 
illustres procacibus scriptis dilfaniaverat,' &c. ; see also Suetonius, Augustus 
55, and Dio Cassius, Ivi. 27. A clause of the Eighth of the Twelve Tables 
had in fact dealt with libel ; see Orelli's Tacitus, 1. c. 

P. 9, 1. 4. Lucretius, Sec. Lucretius' great poem De Rerum Natura, in 
which he attacks the monster 'religio' — the degraded and degrading notions 
of godhead prevailing amongst men — is dedicated to C. Memmius Gemellus, 
praetor in 58. 

5. his Epicurism. His poem is a splendid exposition of the doctrines of 
Epicurus, to whom the poet looked up as to a great deliverer from supersti- 
tions, and so one of the greatest benefactors of humanity. See i. 63-79 •' 
also V. 1-54, especially 8-13 : 

' Deus ille fuit deus, inclyte Memmi, 
Qui princeps vitae rationem invenit earn quae 
Nunc appellatur sapientia, quique per artem 
Fluctibus e tantis vitam tantisque tenebris 
In tam tranquillo et tam clara luce locavit.* 
had the honour, &c. The authority for the statement that Cicero ' set 
forth' ( = edited) Lucretius' poem is the phrase 'Tullii lima diguissimis ' 
applied to his verses by Saint Jerome; see his additions to Eusebius' 
Chronicon. For Milton's second time there is no explicit authority. Jerome 
would seem to mean that Cicero first edited the poem ; but his language is 
not inconsistent with Milton's statement. That he edited it at all cannot be 
pronounced a fact. It is certain that Cicero speaks with no great enthusiasm 
of the poem; see Epistolae ad Quintum Fratrem, ii. 11 ; * Lucretii poemata 
ut scribis ita sunt, multis luminibus ingenii, multae tamen artis.' See Munro's 
Lucretius, text and notes, p. 298, and p. 313, third ed. 

7. himself disputes, &c. As in his De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, i 
and ii ; Tusc. Disp. ii and iii ; De Nat. Deorum, i and ii, &c. 

9. Satyricall. The correct form is satire, not satyr. The latter form 
was suggested by a supposed derivation of the word from the Greek aarvpos, 
whereas it is the Latin (Innx) satire or satura {satura is the purer form). 

Lucilius, born at Suessa Auruncorum (' magnus Auruncae . . . alumnus,' 
Juvenal, i. 20) 148, died at Naples 103 B.C. He is generally accounted as 
the founder (' inventor,' Horace, Satires, i. lO. 48) of the school of satire of 
which Horace, Persius, and Juvenal were subsequently such brilliant members. 
In Horace's time he was much read and admired. See Horace, Satires, i. 4, 
I-13, also 10; and ii. i. 29-34, where Horace declares himself his follower: 

* Sequor hunc, Lucanus an Appulus, anceps ;' 
Juvenal, 1. 165-168; Persius, i. 114; Quintilianus, x. i,&c. See Mommsen, 
book iii. chap. 14; Sellar's Roman Poets of the Republic, The * fragments ' 
of Lucilius, of which there are upwards of eight hundred, have been several 
times printed. 



8o AREOPAGITICA, [P. 9. 

10. Catvlhis, born at or close by Verona 87, died about 47 B.C. 
F/accMS = Horace, whose full name was Quintus Horatius Flaccus. So 

Juvenal, vii, 227, &c. Similarly Vergil is sometimes designated by his 
cognomen — the ' family* as distinguished from the 'clan' name — ' Maro,' as 
Juvenal, ibid., Ausonius, Idyllia, iv. 56; Ovid as ' Naso,' &c. Conversely, 
Cicero is sometimes called by his nomen ' Tully.' On Roman names see 
Smith's Diet, of Antiq. 

11. the .<;/ory = the history. The word story is in fact but the word 
history 'decapitated'; c^. censer and incense, Lat. centum and decern, cess 
and assess, size and assize, &c. 

Titus Liviiis, born at Patavium (Padua) 59 B.C., where, after a life spent 
mostly at Rome, he died 1 7 a.d. 

though it extoll'd, &c. Time has done what Augustus did not — it has 
* suppressed' the passage here referred to. Books cix-cxvi, which dealt with 
the Caesar and Pompey war, are only known to us by extremely meagre 
epitomes, or rather 'arguments.' Milton's authority for the tolerance shown 
by Augustus is Tacitus; see Annales, iv. 34, where Cremutius Cordus, 
prosecuted for eulogising Brutus and Cassius, in his defence maintains the 
right of free speech, quoting amongst other pertinent precedents : • Titus 
Livius, eloquentiae ac fidei praeclarus in primis, Cn. Pompeiuni tantis laudibus 
lulit ut Pompeianum eum Augustus appellaret ; neque id amicitiae eorum 
oflecit.' 

that part. So Lat. pars, as Cicero, Ep. Fam, x. 31 ; more commonly in 
the plural, as Philippics, xiii. 20, &c. 

13. Octavius Caesar. This never was his name. Originally he was 
called ' Caius Octavius '; after his adoption by his great uncle, ' Caius Julius 
Caesar Octavianus ' : to this name ' Augustus ' was added by the Senate and 
the people in 27 B.C. 

faction, here used in a neutral, has generally in Latin, as in English, a bad 
sense; thus Sallust, Jugurtha 31, in the accusation of Bestia by Memmius : 
' Sed haec [the combination of men bound together by common desires and 
hatreds and fears] inter bonos amicitia, inter malos/ac/«o est.' 

14. that Naso, 8cc. The cause of Ovid's banishment (' relegatio,' not 
•exsilium') remains, and probably will always remain, in obscurity. That it 
was not really his having written the Ars Amatoria, which was the nominal 
pretext, seems proved by the fact that that work had been published 
some ten years when in a.d. 9 the poet was suddenly transported to Tomi. 
He himself speaks of the matter mysteriously; he says his fault was 
involuntary. See his Tristia, and his Ex Ponto passim. See also Ben 
Jonson's Poetaster. 

JVaso = Publius Ovidius Naso, born at Sulmo B.C. 43, died at Tomi on the 
Euxine a.d. 18. See especially Tristia, iv. 10. 

in his old age. Oyid was some fifty-two years old at the time of his 
banishment. 

15. a meer covert 0/ state ^^z mere state pretext. 



I 



p. lo.] NOTES, 81 

16. ike Books were neither hanisht, &c. This is not quite accurate. At 
the time of the poet's banishment the Ars Amatoria was ejected from the 
public libraries by the Emperor's command. 

17. from hence we shall meet, &c. See e.g. Tacitus' Annals and History 
passim; as Ann. i. 7 : 'at Romae ruere in servitium consules, patres, 
eques.' &c. 

19. that we may not marvell, &c. See e. g. the account of the burn- 
ing of Cremutius Cordus' Annals of Brutus and Cassius in Tacitus' Annals, 
iv. 35. 

2l.anough. Cp. Scotch anetich. Enough comes nearer the A.-S.^^wo/t.Germ. 
genug. The Moes.-Goth, is ga-nohs, an adj. ; see Skeal's Moeso-Gothic 
Glossary. Other English forms are ynough, ynow, enow, anew; see Morris's 
English Accidence, 235. 

the emperours, &c. Constantine reigned from 306 to 337. See Smith's 
Gibbon, ii and iii ; Milman's Hist, of Christ., ii. 

27. Heretichs. In classical Greek atp«T£«os = able to choose ; intelligent, as 
in Aristotle, Magn. M. i. 21 ; and heresy, aipiais = z choosing. In later Greek 
atpcffis, from meaning 'what is chosen,' came to mean a set of views or 
principles, and so a school, a sect. In ecclesiastical Greek the word denoted 
specially a choice of other views than the received or so-called orthodox; 
see I Cor. xi. 19; 2 Pet. ii. 1, &c. 

29. the generall Councels. The first general or oecumenical council was 
that convened at Nicaea in Bithynia in 325, when the Nicene Creed was 
drawn up. They were called 'general' or 'oecumenical' ( = world-repre- 
senting) to distinguish them from the local and provincial synods. 

30. Autority. Down into the first half of the 1 6th cent, the common 
forms of the primary substantive seem to have been anctour and anctor ; 
so in Chaucer, Tyndale, Elyot, &c. (See Skeat's Specimens of Eng. Lit. 
pp. 173, 202, &c.) 

32. Porphyrins. Porphyry, whose original name was Malchus ( = the Syro- 
phoenician Melech), born 233, died circ. 305 a.d., was successively a pupil of 
Origen, of ApoUonius, of Longinus, and of Plotinus. His treatise against 
the Christian religion 'called forth replies from above thirty different 
antagonists, the most celebrated of whom were Methodius, Apollinaris, and 
Eusebius.' The public destruction of the work by order of the Emperor 
Constantine seems to have succeeded in its object ; no copy is extant. 
Smith's Gibbon, ii. 266 n. ; Mosheim's Eccles. Hist., i. 70, ed. 1826. 

35. Procliis, named Diadochos, as the genuine successor of Plato in 
doctrine, was born at Byzantium 412, died 485 a.d. See Snn'th's Gibbon, v. 
92 ; Morell's Tennemann's Manual of the History of Philosophy, pp. 192-9. 
He was principally olfcnded in the Christian religion by the doctrine ot the 
creation of the world. 

P. 10. I. about the year 400 in a Carthaginian Councel. Tlie fourth 
Council of Carthage met in 398. See Hallam's Middle Ages, iii. 273, cd, 
1856; Student's ed. p. 510. 



82 AREOPAGITICA, [P. lo. 

4. scrtipVd more the hooJis, Sic. This is a common construction in 
Elizabethan English ; thus 'she wander'd many a wood' (Spenser), ' roam'd 
the utmost isles* (Paradise Lost), 'walk'd the waves' (Lycidas), 'smile 
you my speeches ' (King Lear), ' I cannot too much muse such shapes ' 
(Tempest), &c. 

7. /iass/n^ = advancing. Pass and pace are identical words. See Shaksp. 
Jtil. Caes. \. i. 47. 

8. fiirder. In the case of murder and murther, the d form has been 
retained. The A.-S. form hfur^or, where ^ = dh, the th of ihine. Conip. 
A.-S. feeder with father, moder with mother. 

9. lay by — lay aside, put on one side, i.e. not to read. 

10. Padre Paolo = the monastic name of Pietro Sarpi, born at Venice 
1552, died 1623. Drawn from his cell — he was a monk of the Servite 
order — into public life, he became the champion of Venice in its resistance 
to papal supremacy over its secular government. Of his subsequent years, 
which were spent mainly in his monastery, the great work was his History 
of the Council of Trent, • faithfully translated into English by Nathanael 
Brent,' 1620. See a short Hfe of him by Dr. Johnson, Works, ii. 109-II, 
ed. 1862. For the passage of the work referred to in the text, see the 
1620 ed., book vi. pp. 471-6, where the discussion at the council as to the 
Index Expurgatorius is introduced by a ' Discourse of the Author concerning 
the Prohibition of Books.' It has been pointed out by Mr. Osborn in his 
edition of the Areopagitica that this ' Discourse' would seem to have been 
in Milton's mind at the time he wrote the Areopagitica, as several of the 
facts it quotes are also quoted by him in the same connection. The para- 
graph that immediately illustrates the present text is this : ' After the year 
800 the Popes of Rome, as they assumed a great part of the politick govern- 
ment, so they caused the Books, whose authors they did condemn, to be 
burned, and forbad the reading of them.' 

the great tinmasker, &c. Cp. the inscription placed under a portrait of 
Father Paul by Sir Henry Wotton : • Concilii Tridentini Eviscerator.' See 
Holt White. In Of Reformation in England, p. 13 of Works, Milton calls 
him * the great Venetian antagonist of the Pope;' also ' the great and 
learned Padre Paolo.' 

the Trentine Councel, which first met Dec. 13, 1545, was finally dissolved 
Dec. 4, 1 563. [Where is Trent ?] 

11. after which time, &c. On the growth of the power of the Popes in 
the ninth and tenth centuries, see Milman's Latin Christianity, vols, iii and 
iv. This growth was not without interruptions. It reached its greatest 
height in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. For the immediate illustration 
of the text, see, for instance, Milman's account of Pope Nicholas I (858-867). 

the Popes of Rome. The title Pope was originally given to all bishops. 
it was confined to the prelates ot Rome by the order of Phocas, Emperor of 
the East, at the instance of Boniface III, 606 a.d. 

engrossing. Engross = to buy in large quantities of corn, or of anything. 



p. lo.] NOTES. 83 

Cp. engrosser = grocer, which means properly one who buys in large quan- 
tities. See Promp. Parv. s. v. grocere, where Way quotes from 37 Edw. Ill, 
1363, respecting ' merchauntz nomez grossers,' so called because they ' En- 
grossent totes maners des niarchandises vendables,' As such large pur- 
chases were commonly made with a view to raising the price of the 
commodity, the word engross came to have a bad meaning. {Cp. forestall- 
ing, regrating, badgering.) See Blackstone and Craik's History of British 
Commerce, i. 1 33-1 35. 

15. fansied. This spelling comes nearer to the original phantasy, 
^vraaia, of which /awcy is a contracted form. 

17. Martin the 5 (Otto Colonn£^) was Pope 1417-1431. See Milman. 

Bidl. Bulla, meaning in classical Latin a round boss-like object, and 
especially the ornamental boss worn round the necks by Roman boys, came 
in the Middle Ages to be used specially of the waxen (originally leaden) 
seal attached by a band to legal instruments, and then of the instrument itself. 
' 18. [What is meant by excommunicated the reading 7 Explain the word 
excommunicated.'] 

19. Wicklef, born circ. 1 3 24. died Dec. 31, 1384. See Milman, viii. c. 6; 
Lebas' Life of Wiclif; Shirley's Catalogue of the Original Works of John 
Wyciif, T. Arnold's Wyclifs Eng. Works, &c. See Of Reformation in 
England : * Although indeed our Wickliffe's preaching, at which all the 
succeeding reformers more effectually lighted their tapers, was to his 
countrymen but a short blaze, soon damped and stifled by the Pope and 
prelates for six or seven kings' reigns,' &c. 

Huss, born circ. 1376, burnt at the stake July 7, 1415. See Milman. 

22. Leo the 10 (John de Medici) was Pope from 151 3-15 2 1. See 
Roscoe's Life and Pontificate of Leo the Tenth. 

24. perfeted. So 'perfet' in Lycidas, ed. 1637. ^* 'S the Fr. parfait. 

25. expurging Indexes. The Index Expurgatorius, first made by the 
Inquisitors in Italy, was approved by the Council of Trent in 1559. See 
Sarpi, p. 476, ed. 1620. 

29. in a prohibition. There was, and is, an Index Librorum Prohibitorum 
as well as an Index Expurgatorius. 

30. Purgatory. On the growth of this belief, see Milman, ix. c. 2. 
[What is meant by strait here? Explain the word.] 

31. encroachment. The root is croc : 'mot d'origine germanique (ncer- 
landais krok, croc). D. crochet, crochu, croche, accrocher, decrocher^ 
(Brachet.) The radical meaning therefore is • a hooking on to,' ' a seizing 
with a hook;' cp. Piers the Plowman, Text B. viii. 95, ed. Skeat ; 
whence generally 'a seizing;' so that the verb ought to be used with a 
direct object. And so it is in older English ; see Richardson's Dictionary. 
Thus Bale in his Pageant of Popes speaks of * the monks who had encroached 
their places •/ Drayton in his Barons' Wars of 

• their unbridled rage 
That did our ancient liberty encroach^ 
G 2 



84 AREOPAGITICA, [P. ii. 

'To encroach upon' is then an inaccurate phrase; probably formed by a 
false analogy from • to trespass on,' &c. 

P. 11. 3. glntton Friers. The epithet is somewhat truculent. See Pierce 
the Ploughman s Crede, 1. 67, ed. Skeat. 

glutton = Ft. glouton, Lat. glulto. 

7. Vicar means literally one who acts in place of another, a delegate ; cp. 
vicarious, viceroy, vicegerent, &c. With the use here cp. our Eng. ' vicar- 
general' =' an officer having powers from the chancellor of a diocese.' 

8. athwart = across, at variance with (the Ital. has ' contro') ; etymologi- 
ca\\y = on-thwart, on-cross, cross-wise. Cp. a in across, ashore, aloft, 
aboard, &c. (The prefix a has no less than twelve diiferent meanings. See 
Morris and Skeat's Specimens of Early Eng. Part II, 2nd ed. p. xxxv.) 

9. [What is the proper meaning of the word Catholic ?] 

manners ^hTil. mores. So I Cor, jiv. 33; cp. Goldsmith's Traveller, 
127, &c. 

12. r^/a//on = Ital. relazione. 

13. Davanzati. Bernardo Davanzati Bostichi, of Florence, born 1529, 
died 1606. He wrote several works, Scisma d' Inghilterra, La coltivazione 
toscana, &c. ; see Brunet's Manuel du Libraire. For some account of his 
translation of Tacitus, said to have been ' accomplished in fewer words than 
the original,' see Hallam's Literature of Europe, ii. 402. The book referred to 
in the text was his Scisma d' Inghilterra con altre operette, printed at Florence 
in 1638. On the last page of the original edition, after the Errata, may be seen 
the passages here translated. The book may have been published during 
Milton's stay at Florence. Obviously the subject would attract his notice. 

15. It may he printed. ' Si puo stampare.' In the original this Imprimatur 
is signed also by ' Alessandro Vettori Senatore Auditor di S. A. S.' 

19. broke prison. The full phrase occurs in Midsummer Night's Dream, 
i. 2. 36: 'break the locks of prison gates.' 

exorcism, k^opKicTfios = an administering an oath to — a ' swearing' — any one, 
a binding by oath. The common modern sense of the word was acquired in 
Ecclesiastical Greek. 

23. [What is the grammatical construction o( the Roman stamp?] 

P. 12. I. P/a^za = market-place, meeting-place, d'yopd ;=Sp. plaza, Fr. 
place. Germ, platz, from the Gr. vXareia : see Diez. Shakspere seems to 
use place in this sense in The Taming of the Shrew, i. I. ' Padua, a public 
place^ ; see C. A. Brown's Shakespeare's Autobiographical Poems, p. 104. 

complementing. The word coupled with this word — ducking — would seem 
to shew that our compliinenting is here meant. But some sort of word-play 
may be intended. In derivation complement and compliment are not akin, 
the former being ultimately connected with compleo, the latter with complico. 

ducking. See Comus, 960-2 : 

' Here be without duck or nod, 
Other trippings to be trod 
Of lighter toes,' &c. 



p. 13.] NOTES. 85 

Richard III, i. 3. 49 : 

* Duck with French nods and apish courtesy.* 
King Lear, ii. 2. 109 : 

• twenty silly ducking observants 
That stretch their duties nicely.' 
Todd on Comus, 1. c, quotes from Brathwaite's English Gentleman (p. 324, 
ed. 1641): 'a scru'd face, an artfull cringe, or an Italionate duck.^ Dtick 
means originally to bow, stoop, &c. Cp. Germ, ducken, and also tmichen. 
The duck is the head-stooping, the dipping bird ; cp. Germ, taucher. 

2. with their shav'n reverences, i. e. with their tonsured heads njaking 
signs of reverence. The language is somewhat pleonastic. Observe the 
boldness of the personification. 

4. the spunge. Par. Reg. iv. 329, where see Mr. Jerram's note. So 
' spunged out,' Hooker's Eccles. Pol., v. F9, &c. See Suetonius' life of 
Augustus, where the emperor tells those who made enquiries after a play he 
had begun to write, ' Ajacem suum in spongiam incubuisse.' Quite different 
in derivation, though similar in meaning, is expunge. 

5. responsories is a secondary substantive formed from responses. Jeremy 
Taylor speaks of * that respomory in the Roman breviary,' &c (Rule of 
Cons^cience, iii. 3. 6) ; see Richardson. 

antiphonies. The word anthem is a corruption of Eccl. Lat. anltphona,= 
Gk. avTicpcvvov. The A.-S. form was antefne, which became antemne 
(cf. woman from wifman, Lamtnas from Hlis/mcBsse) ; whence anthem 
(cf, Anthony, &c.). 

8. one from Lamheih house, &c. ' Pursuant to the decree of the Star 
Chamber in 1637 concerning the Press, all books of Divinity, Physic, 
Philosophy and Poetry were licensed either by the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
or the Bishop of London, or by substitutes of their appointment. This docu- 
ment is in Rushworth, Hist. Coll. iii. 306, Appendix ; and is reprinted in the 
Memoirs of Thomas Hollis, p. 641.' (Holt White.) 

Lambeth house, the residence of the Archbishops of Canterbury, * from at 
least the thirteenth century.' (Cunningham.) 

9. the west end of Paidi. The Bishop of London had once a palace in the 
precincts of St. Paul's, 'bordering on the church;* see Mihnan's St. Paul's, 
p. 131. See it mentioned in More's Edw. V and Rich. Ill : ' the Bishop of 
London's palace near St. Paul's cliurch.' 

12. woidd cast no ink. Cp. the Americanism ' to sling ink.' 

13. no vidgar tongue. So all modern languages were called in contra- 
distinction to Latin, the language of the learned. 

14. the pure conceit of an Imprimatur. Cp. * lordly Imprimatur'' just ab'we; 
and in The Remonstrant's Defence : ' your proud Imprimaturs not to be 
obtained without the shallow surview, but not shallow hand of some 
mercenary, narrow-souled, and illiterate chaplain.* 

ronc«V = idea, notioa, thought. So commonly in Eliz. Eng., as M. of Ven. 
1. i. 9 a, &C. 



86 AREOPAGITICA. [P. 12. 

18. dictatorie. We should say dictatorial. So • professory learning' 
in Bacon's Adv. of Learning, p. 79, Clar. Press Ed. 

[Parse English here.] 

19. ript up= torn open and investigated, exposed. So Faerie Queene.i. 7'39' 

' Such helplesse harmes yts better hidden keep 
Then rip up griefe, where it may not availe.' 
See other instances from Jewell, Hackluyt, North, &c., apud Richardson. 
21. [What is the grammatical construction of tliat can he heard o/?] 
23. ancestors is ultimately a corruption of antecessores = fore-goers, 
through the French. 

28, birth is here used in a concrete sense ; so partus in Latin, &c. So 
Paradise Lost, v. 180: 

* Air and ye elements, the eldest birth 
Of nature's womb,* &c. 
Tennyson's Godiva : 

• Not only we, the latest birth of time,' &c. 
no envious Juno, &c. See the story of Hercules' birth. When in her 
travail Alcmena cried out for Ilithyia, Ilithyia came, but not to succour, for 
Hera had pledged her to retard. She sat cross-legged at the door, nmttering 
spells. One.jof Alcmeiia's maidens, seeing her obstructiveness, deceived her 
by pretending that the mother's pains were over ; whereupon startled she 
changed her posture, and then at once Hercules was born. See Alcmena's 
own account of this wrong, and how it was outwitted, and how the goddess 
avenged herself, in Ovid's Metamorphoses, ix. 281-323 ; especially 297-301: 
' Utque meos audit gemitus, subsedit in ilia 
Ante fores ara ; dextroque in poplite laevum 
Pressa genu, digitis inter se pectine junctis, 
Sustinuit nixus. Tacita quoque carmina voce 
Dixit, et inceptos tenuerunt carmina nixus.' 
Hom. II. xix. 119. See also Prior's Anc. Daft. Ballade, ii. 364-7. 
Mr. Lobb aptly quotes Browne's Vulgar Errors, v. 23. 9 : ' To sit cross- 
legged, or with our fingers pectinated or shut together, is accounted bad, and 
friends will persuade us from it. The same conceit religiously possessed 
the ancients, as is observable from Pliny: "poplites alternis geuibus imponere 
nefas olini;" and also from Athenaeus that it was an old veneficious practice 
and Juno is made in this posture to hinder the delivery of Alcmena,' &c. 
See Le Bas' Life of Archbishop Laud, p. 38, ed. 1836: 'His [Laud's] old 
detractor Archbishop Abbot had been constantly on the spot, sitting cross- 
legged (if the phrase may be allowed) upon the fortunes of the Papist, and 
providing him with abundant opportunities of showing how well he could 
endure the pains of hope deferred, which maketh the heart sick.' Also Peele's 
Edw. I, p. 409, ed. Dyce. 

33. [in wars condition, &c. How so?] 

should be to stand, &c. We could say * it was to stand,' &c. Comp, 
2 Hen. VI, II. iii, 28. 



p. 13.] NOTES. 87 

P. 13. I. ere it be borne to the world. The belief in our antenatal 
existence was held by Plato and others. See e. g. the passage in Plato's 
Republic, p. 618, of yet unbodied souls choosing the lives they will lead: 
acpds ovv, (neiSfi dcpticiaOai, cvOvs deiv Uvai irpos tt^v Adx,((Tiv, k. t. \. 

2. yet in darknesse, that is, while still in darkness. See p. 3, 1. 33. 
Radamanth was one of the three great Justices of Hades, according to 

Greek myths. His colleagues were Minos and Aiakos. See the Latin poets, 
passim, as Vergil, Aencid, vi. 565 : 

' Gnosius haec Rhadamanthus habet, durissima regna, 

Casligatque auditque dolos, subigitque fateri. 

Quae quis apud superos, furto laetatus inani, 

Distulit in seram commissa piacula mortem.' 

3. the ferry. See Aeneid, vi. 295-330, &c. ; Richard HI, i. 4. 46-8: 

' Who pass'd methought the melancholy flood, 
With that grim ferryman which poets write of, 
Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.' 

4. that mysterious iniquity. See Revelation xvii. 5, of the woman ' arrayed 
in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and 
pearls :' ' Upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the great, 
the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth,' &c. The Church 
reformers of the sixteenth century confidently identified this woman with 
the Papacy. 

6. limbo's. In classical Latin limbus = z border, a fringe, &c. ; as in 
Vergil, Aeneid, iv. 137. In the Middle Ages it was used to denote a 
border land of hell, the infernal ' marches.* ' The old schoolman supposed 
there to be, besides hell (infernus damnatorum), I. a limbus puerormn, where 
the souls of infants unbaptized remained [cp. Vergil's " limen primum " of 
Hades, Aeneid, vi. 426-433] ; 2. a limbns patrum, where the fathers of the 
church, saints, and martyrs awaited the general resurrection; [see De 
Doctrina Christiana, chap, xiii, and Apology for Smectymnuus, &c.] ; and 3. 
Purgatory. To which in popular opinion was added, 4. a limbus fatuorum, or 
fool's paradise, the receptacle of all vanity and nonsense.' (Nares.) See Dante's 
Inferno, iv, where the poet enters Limbo, the first circle of Hell, and his guide 
explains that it is the region of such as himself, who ' before the Gospel lived.' 
(Cary,) See especially Paradise Lost, iii. 440-497, for sense No. 4. (Milton 
contradicts those who placed that paradise in the moon, as e. g. Ariosto, Or- 
lando Furioso, xxxiv. 70, &c., whom Pope follows in the Rape of the Lock, 
canto V.) Commonly lirnbo was used for hell itself; so Shakspere, All's well 
that ends well, v. 3. 256 : ' for indeed he was mad for her, and talked of Satan 
and of Limbo, and of Furies, and I know not what.' Faerie Qucene, 1. 2. 32 

' What voice of dannied ghost from limbo lake ?' 
In the Comedy of Errors, iv. 2. 32, where Dromio of Syracuse describes his 
master who had just been arrested as 

•in Tartar limbo, worse than hell. 
A devil in an everlasting garment hath him;' 



88 AREOPAGITICA, [P. 13. 

the 'border' is more fearful than the ' land' itself. In Henry VIII, v. 3. 67, 
Ihnbo Patrutn — prison. 

9. ilfavourdly = unhandsomely, foully. Favour in Elizabethan English 
frequently = face, feature, 'looks;' thus Bacon's Essays, 43: 'In beauty, 
that o{ javoiir is more then that of colour, and that of decent and gracious 
motion more then that of favour,^ &c. See Eastwood and Wright's Bible 
Word Book. As Craik suggests in his English of Shakespeare /avo/^r came to 
mean countenance by the same ' natural transference of meaning' as counte- 
natice came to mean favour ; (cp. * the light of thy countenance,' Psalm xliv. 
3, &c.), i. e. favour is used for that which expresses favour = the 
countenance. 

10. inquisiturient. — ttirio in Latin, whence the participle -turient, denotes 
R yearning or desire; thus esnrio = l desire to eat, I hunger. These 
de.Mderative verbs are formed from the 'participle in rus;' thus esurio comes 
from estirus (stem ed-), scriptttrio from scripttirus. Sec. So petiturire (to 
long to be a candidate, Cicero, Ad Atticum, i. 14), parturire, empturire, 
Sullaturire, proscripturire (' ita Sullaturit animus ejus et proscriplurit^ 
Cicero, Ad Att., ix. 10. 6.). See Donaldson's Varronianus, p. 421 ; Key's 
Latin Grammar, pp. 135 and 136. 

minorites, i. e. quasi niinorites or friars. Cp. above, p. 1 1 : * Under the 
hands of two or three glutton Friers' Strictly the Minorites were the 
Franciscan, or Grey Friars. See Milman's Latin Christianity, vi. 34 : 
•The very name of his [St. Francis'] disciples, the Friar Minors, implied 
their humility.' 

11. [What is meant by these most certain authors?'] 

18. for all that. This phrase is probably elliptical; fully, we should say 
• for all that can do,' or ' for all that that weighs,' or ' for all that can be 
said on that head,' &c. See note on ' for all the morning light ' in Longer 
English Poems, p. 218. 

20. light oM = to drop upon by accident, to find without effort. Slightly 
different is the sense in the Te Deum : ' O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon 
us,' &c. This light is the A.-S. lihtan. Alight, of which the sense is not 
quite the same, is a compound. 

23. [to no other purpoe. What preposition should we rather use ?] 

25. / am of those who. &c. Cp. Samson's 

' Nor am I in the list of them that hope.' 
[What is the force of 0/ here?] Macb. i. 3. 80, 

26. alchymy, here distribaiively for a process or achievement of alchemy. 
For the derivation of the word, the al- is the Arabic ' article ' (so the al- 
in a/-cohol, a/-gebra, al-cove, a/-embic, «/-Cairo, a/-Koran, a/-kali, perhaps in 
o/-batross, the el in el-ix\r) ; -chemy is probably ultimately from the Gr. x^H-^^* 
juice, &c. In derivation then, alehemy ~ chemistry ; and in respect of what 
the tw'o words denote, they are related to each other very much as are 
astrology and astronomy. The classical pieces of English literature that deal with 
alchemy are Chaucer's Canon's Yeoman's Tale, and Ben Jonson's Alchemist. 



p. 14.J NOTES. ' 89 

Lw///ms = Raymond Lully, a famous writer on medicine and chemistry, 
and on other subjects, of the latter part of the thirteenth century and the 
early fourteenth; born at Palma in Majorca in 1234, stoned to death 
in Mauretania in 1315 by the Mohammedans, whom he had zealously visited 
Africa to convert. See Bacon's Advancement of Learning, p, i 76, erl. Aldif 
Wright. On his missionary ardour, and what came of it, see Maclear's History 
of Christian Missions in the Middle Ages, chap. xvi. 

27. sitblimat — cxlxzcX. Technically 'to raise by the force of chemica. 
fire.' 

30. \^for the tree, &c. What is the meaning of /or here?] 

32. He now passes on to his Second Point, see p. 67. 
P. 14. 3. Moses. See Acts vii. 22 : • And Moses was learned in all the 
wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.' 

3. Daniel. See Daniel i. 17: 'As for these four children [Daniel, 
Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah = Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, Abed- 
nego] God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom ; and 
Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.' 

4. Pattl. It may perhaps be doubted whether St. Paul's Greek learning 
was so very extensive. 

6. in Pa?// = in the case of Paul ; so often in in Latin. 

8. the sentences of three Greek Poets. See Acts xvii. 28 (from Aratos, or 
possibly Cleanthes) ; I Cor. xv. 33; Titus i. 12 (from Epimenides). Cp. 
Sidney's Apol.for Poetrie, p. 58, ed. Arber. 

the sentetices = ientcnU^Q, yvcvfxai. 

9. one of them a Tragedian, i. e. Euripides, See Milton's Preface to 
Samson Agonistes, p. 204, vol. ii, Clar. Press Ed. : ' The Apostle Paul 
himself thought it not unworthy to insert a verse of Euripides into the text 
of Holy Scripture, i Cor. xv. 33.' This line, 

(pOftpovcriv rjOrj XPV^^^' ofiiKiai KaKai, 
is ascribed to Euripides by Sokrates in his Ecclesiastical History, iii. t6. 
Jerome and Grotius assign it to the Tjhais of Menander; see Newton's and 
also Todd's note to Samson Agonistes, Preface. Clemens Alexandrinus 
(Paidagogos, ii. 6. § 50) says indefinitely : ?) irotijTiKfi Keyn ; see Dindorfs 
Poetae Scenici, Euripides, Fragments, 962. That there should be any 
confusion is intelligible enough, if it is remembered how Menander was in 
fact the dramatic offspring of Euripides, and much resembled him in style. 

II. odds. The first notion of the subst. odd seems to be a point, or 
something projecting (Norse oddr, &c.) ; hence it means what is eminent or 
singular in any way, &c. Here o</f/s = advantage, superiority. So Arcades, 

' Juno dares not give her odds.' 
See Shakspere, passim, as Winter's Tale. v. I. 207; Henry V, iv. 3. 5, &c. 
The adj. odd seems to be of different origin from the Welsh od, notable. 
13. Julian the Apostat. See Gibbon, chap, xxiii, &c. 



90 AREOPAGITICA. [P. 14. 

the Aposlat. See Smith's Milman's Gibbon, iii. 136: ' The independent 
spirit of Julian refused to yield the passive and unresisting obedience which 
was required, in the name of religion, by the haughty ministers of the 
church. . . He was educated in the Lesser Asia amidst the scandals of the 
Arian controversy. . . As soon as Gallus was invested with the honours of 
the purple, Julian was permitted to breathe the air of freedom, of literature, 
and of Paganism,' &c. Voltaire (Philosophical Dictionary, s. v. Apostate) 
says it is a question whether he was ever truly a Christian. Julian himself 
assures the Alexandrines he was so. See Mr. Lobb's note. 

14. a decree, &c. See Smith's Milman's Gibbon, iii. 163. It prohibited 
the Christians from teaching the arts of grammar and rhetoric. See it 
among the Epistles of Julian (xlii). ' The Christians were directly forbid to 
teach, they were indirectly forbid to learn ; since they would not frequent 
the schools of the Pagans.' (Gibbon, 1. c. note.) See Bacon's Advance- 
ment of Learning, p. 49, ed. Aldis Wright : ' So again we find that many of 
the ancient bishops and fathers of the church were excellently read and 
studied in all the learning of the heathen ; insomuch that the edict of the 
Emperor Julianus (whereby it was interdicted unto Christians to be admitted 
into Schools, lectures, or exercises of learning) was esteemed and accounted a 
more pernicious engine and machination against the Christian faith than 
were all the sanguinary prosecutions of his predecessors.' 

for, said he, &c. ' He vainly contends that, if they refuse to adore the 
gods of Homer and Demosthenes, they ought to content themselves with 
expounding Luke and Matthew in the churches of the Galileans.' (Gibbon, 
I.e.) 

18. shifts. The radical notion of the word shift is division, change, &c. ; 
or the A,-S. scyftan is cognate with Icel. shifta, ultimately with shed (in 
^z\.tx-$hed), ax^Coj, scindo, &c. ; and in this radical sense the verb is still com- 
mon enough. Then it came to mean a change of plan, a ready device, &c. 
See Titus Andronicus, iv. 2. 176: 

' For it is you that puts us to our shifts' 
Cp. the Gr. rravToTos yiyveaOai, as Herodotus, ix. 109; so iravToZairos 
yiyveaOai, Plato, Republic, 398 A. 

[19. in danger to decline. What construction should we rather use?] 
22. the two Apollinarii == h^o\Y\nznos of Alexandria and his son the Bishop 
of Alexandria. The Christians, says Gibbon, in a note to the passage of the 
text describing Julian's oppressions, ' had recourse to the expedient of com- 
posing books for their own schools. Within a few months Apollinaris 
produced his Christian imitations of Homer (a sacred history in twenty-four 
books), Pindar, Euripides, and Menander ; and Sozomen is satisfied that they 
equalled or excelled the originals.' Apollinaris is the Latin, Apollinarios the 
Greek form of the name. 

20. fain is the A.-S. fcegen, joyful. Cp. hail and hcegel, nail and ncBgel, 
stile and stigel, &c. 

21. the seven liberall sciences = ihe 'trivium* and * quadrivium.' 



p. 15.] NOTES. 91 

• Gramm. loquitur ; Bia. vera docet ; RTiet. verba colorat ; 
Mus. canit ; Ar. numeral ; Geo. ponderat; Ast. colit astra.' 
See Hallam's Lit. of Europe, i. 4 n. ed. 1837. 

24. the Historian Socrates. See his Ecclesiastical History, iii. 16. This 
Sokrates 'flourished' in the fifth century. His Church History was a continua- 
tion of that of Eusebius down to 440 a.d. 

26. hy taking away. Sec. Julian died in 363. Jovian, who was elected 
to succeed him, proclaimed universal toleration. 'Under his reign Chris- 
tianity obtained an easy and lasting victory.' (Gibbon.) 

30. decaying. Observe the causative use of decay here. So Surrey, 
The Constant Lover Lamenteth : 

* And now though on the sunne I drive 

Whose fervent flame all thinges decaies.* &c. 
(apud Richardson). The verb is properly neuter, derived ultimately from the 
Lat. decadere. Cp. the causative uses of the 2nd aorist of XavOdvco and 
Xayx^f^^- Perhaps the verb in the text should be taken as a mere verb- 
alising of the noun, as is common in Elizabethan English; = afflict 
with decay, &c. Cp. e.g. 'smile you my speeches?' in King Lear, ii. 2, 
88. 

31. Decius was emperor from 249 to 251, See Milman's History of 
Christianity, vol. ii. 

Dioclesian. Emperor 284-305. 

32. St. Jerom. Born circ. 345, died 420. His Life has been written by 
Erasmus, Stigelius, Siguenza, Martianay, Collombet (Hols's Biographical 
Dictionary) ; see Mihnan's Christianity, iii. 190-237. The Vulgate transla- 
tion of the Bible is commonly attributed to him. 

that the Divell, &c. See Jerome's Epistolae, 18, ' Ad Eustochium de Virginit.' 
Epistle xxii. in Migne's Patrologiae Cursus Completus; see vol. i. of Hieronymi 
Opera, pp. 394-425. The letter was written in 384. In a dream he 
thought himself brought before the tribunal of Heaven ; and when, in answer 
to the question of what profession he was, he said he was a Christian, 
• Thou liest,' cried the judge ; ' thou art a Ciceronian, for the works of that 
author possess thy heart;' and thereupon condemned him to be severely 
scourged by angels. See Butler's Lives of the Saints; also Sarpi's Council of 
Trent, p. 472, ed. 1620. 

33. in a lenten dream. It was dreamed by him when seized by a fever 
one Lent. See the letter to the nun Eustochium : ' Dum ita me antiquus 
serpens \al. hostis] ilhuleret [he could not give up his old library], in media 
ferme Quadragesima medullis infusa febris corpus invasit exhaustum et sine 
ulla requie (quod dictu quoque incredibile est) sic infelicia membra depasta 
est ut ossibus vix haererem,' &c. 

P. 15. I. smV= possessed, as still in law language. Seize is from the 
Fr. saiser, which is from the Low Lat. sacire, which is from the O. 11. G. 
sazjan, H. G. besetzen. See Brachet. 

3. Ciceronianisms, On the Ciceronianism of the Renaissance, see 



92 AREOPAGITICA. [P. 15. 

Hallam's Literature of Europe, i. chap. 5, and the chapter in Encyclopaedia 
Metropolitana, ' History of Roman Literature,' pp. 321-325. 

[4. Explain the rending, not the vanity^ 

6. not for scurrill Plautus, &c. See the Epistle ad Euslocliium : ' Itaque 
miser ego lecturus Tullium jejunabam. Post noctium crebras vigilias, post 
lacrymas, quas mihi praeteritorum recordatio peccatorum ex imis visceribus 
eruebat, Plautus sumebatur in manus.' 

scurrill. Milton seems to have used this form to avoid the occurrence of 
the same sound at the end of two contiguous virords. To his ear such a 
recurrence as Scurrillous Plautus would be olTensive. See his ridicule of 
Bishop Hall's ' teach each : ' 

' Teach each hollow grove to sound his love, 
Wearying echo with one changeless word.' 
pp. 91, 92 of Works. But scurrill is found elsewhere; e.g. in The Two 
Noble Kins?nen, v. I. 136, ed. Skeat. 

8. so many more ancient Fathers. E. g. St. Augustine. 

10. Basil, Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia from 370-379. 

11. Margites . . . writ by Homer. ' The Margites bears the same rela- 
tion to comedy that the Iliad and Odyssey bear to tragedy.' (Aristotle, 
Poetics, chap, iv.) See Miiller's Literature of Greece, &c. The ancients 
agreed in assigning its authorship to Homer, but without authority. One or 
two lines are preserved, as the well-known one : 

iTuW ■qmaTaro tpya, KaKu>s S* i^maraTo iravra. 
See another in Aristotle, Ethics, vi. 7. 

13. Morgnnte. The Morgante Maggiore of Luigi Pulci, printed at 
Venice in 1488. See Hallam's Literature of Europe, i. 270-273 and 421; 
Roscoe's Lorenzo de Medici ; Sismondi's Literature of Southern Europe, &c. 
* The Morgante is generally regarded as the prototype of the " Orlando 
Furioso" of Ariosto.' (Roscoe.) See a translation of the first book in 
Byron's works. 

7nuch to the' same purpose. • It has been a question among Italian 
critics whether the poem of Pulci is to be reckoned burlesque,' &c. 
(Hallam. 1. c.) 

15. Eusebius, born in Palestine circ. 264, chosen Bishop of Caesarea 
circ. 315, died circ. 340. 

ancienter. 'Ascham writes inventivest ; Bacon honourahlest and an- 
cienler; Fuller eminentest, eloqiietiter, learnedst, solemnest, famousest^ 
virtnousest, with the comparative and superlative adverbs wiselier, easilier, 
hardliest ; Sidney even uses repiningest; Coleridge sqfeliest.' (Marsh.) 
See also Morris' English Accidence, chap. xi. 

17. Diojiysius, Bishop of Alexandria 247-265. 

19. had i^o«/ = had accustomed himself = the more usual was wont. 

[20. What is the force of avail here ?] 

21. conversant — vftW versed. See above p. 8, 1. 6. 

24. to give offence = to cause any one to stumble, to be a ffK&vSaKov; as, 



I 



p. 1 6.] NOTES, 93 

passim, in the New Testament, Authorised Version, e.g. Romans ix. 33; 
I Peter ii. 8, &c. 

31. answerable. See note on 'variable* in Longer English Poems, Spenser's 
Prothalamion, 13. 

that 0/ the Apostle, &c. See I Thessalonians v. 21. 

32. prove^iest. So Luke xiv. 19, &c. So ' the exception /roi/^s the rule.' 
P. 16. I. a?iother remarkable saying. See Titus i. 15. 

6. viands — vkuuih. Each word is derived from Lat. vivo. Sir Thomas 
More uses the singular {viande) ; see Richardson. 

7. in that unopocryphall vision. See Acts x. 9-16. 

CI. naughty — Wu of naught, good for nothing. See Shakspere, /asi/m, 
as Merchant of Venice, v. i. 91. So 'naughty figs,' Jeremiah xxiv. 2, 

14. concoction. See 'concoct' in Paradise Lost, v. 412, and ' concoctive 
heat,' ib. 437. 

20. Selden was born 1584, died 1654. His life has been written by 
Wilkins (1726), Aikin (1773), and Johnson (1835). See also Hallani's 
Literature of Europe, iii. 334, &c. ; Constitutional History, &c. He was 
* now sitting in Parliament' for Oxford University. 

whose volume 0/ naturall and national laws, &:c. = his De Jure Naturali 
et Gentium juxta Disciplinam Ebraeorum, published in 1640. See Hallam's 
Literature of Europe, 1. c. Hallam speaks of the 'superb display of erudition, 
especially oriental,' with which his work is illustrated, of his 'unparalleled 
stoies of erudition,' &c. The words Milton particularly refers to are perhaps 
these on p. 2 of the 164I edition of the work. He insists that men should 
collect all opinions, however discrepant with their own, and this ' non sine 
causis certe gravissimis. Nam non sua modo <;ic auxiliaribus suffragiis hand 
parum firmant sed et insuper adversa refellendi, obsciiriores quae suas dissi- 
dentesque scntentias intermeant confiniorym ipsissimas lineas detegendi 
designandique . . . ansam commodius arripiunt.' Milton again quotes the 
work in his Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, speaking of it there as ' that 
noble volume written by our learned Selden ... a work more useful and 
more worthy to be perused by whosoever studies to be a great man in 
wisdom than all those decretals and sumless sums which the pontifical clerks 
have doted on.' 

22. exquisite = c'AreM\y sought out, as in Latin; thus. * exrjuisitis rati* 
onibus confirniare,' Cicero, De Finibus, i. 9. 30. 

theorems. We conimo:ily use 'theory' with this meaning; but strictly 
•theory' is abstract, 'theorem' is concrete, as in Euclid. Cp. ' telegraphy* 
and ' telegram,' &c. We use * speculation * in both senses. 

[24. Explain collated.'] 

37. saving ever the rules 0/ temfierance. See Paradise Lost, xi. 530-538: 
* There is, said Michael, if thou well observe 
The rule of not too much, by temperance taught 
In what thou eatest and drinkest, seeking from thence 
Due nourishment, not gluttonous delight,' &c. 



94 AREOPAGITICA, [P. 17. 

29. repasting. See Hamlet, iv. 5. 145-148: 

'To his good friends thus wide I'll ope my arms; 
And like the kind life-rendering pelican 
Repast them with my blood.' 
Pope's Homer, xxiv : 

' And now they reach'd the naval walls, and found 
The guards repasting, while the bowls go round.* 
{apud Richardson s. v.) 

31. How great a verliie, &c. It was one of the four cardinal virtues. 
(See Piers Plowman, Prol. 104, Clar. Press ed.) 

P. 17. 2. c?emffflnoKr = management. The ultimate stem of demean is 
the Lat. minare. 

[3. Explain tabrd here.] 

4. Omer. See Exodus xvi. The onter is mentioned only in Exodus. 
(The homer — a much larger measure — several times in the Bible, as Leviticus 
xxvii. 16, &c.) Its absolute value is given by Josephus as .8669 gall,, by 
the Rabbinists as .4428 gall. See Smith's Bible Diet. 

7. which enter into a man, &c. See Matthew xv. 17-20; Mark vii. 

14-23- 

10. to be his own chooser. See Paradise Lost, iii. 97-99: 
* Ingrate, he had of me 
All he could have. I made him just and right. 
Sufficient to have stood, through free to fall.* 

14. that much reading, &c. See Ecclesiastes xii. 12. 

19. As for the burning, &c. See Acts xix. 19; Conybeare and Howson's 
Life and Epistles of St. Paul, People's Edition, ii. I3-I7' See also Smith's 
Diet, of Biog., s. n. Alexander of Tralles. 

[25. Explain practiz'd the booksi] 

31. those confused seeds, &c. See the story of Cupid and Psyche in The 
Golden Ass of Apuleius, books iv-vi. Psyche has fallen into the hands of 
Venus, who is wroth with her for having won the love of her son Cupid, 
and afflicts her grievously. She bids Anxiety and Sorrow scourge and 
torment her. After further abuse, Venus ' flew upon her, tore her clothes 
in a great many places, pulled out her hair, shook her by the head, and 
grievously maltreated her. Then taking wheat, barley, millet, poppy, vetches, 
lentils and beans, and mixing them altogether in one heap, she said to her : 
" You seem to me, such an ugly slave as you now are, to be likely to gain 
lovers in no other way than by diligent drudgery. I will therefore myself, 
for once, make trial of your industrious habits. Take and separate this 
promiscuous mass of seeds, and having properly placed each grain in its 
place, and so sorted the whole, give me proof of your expedition by finishing 
the task before evening." Then having delivered over to hpr the vast heap 
of seeds, she at once took her departure for a nuptial banquet. But Psyche, 
astounded at the stupendous task, sat silent and stupefied, and did not move 
a hand to the confused and inextricable mass. Just then a tiny ant, one of 



p. i8.] NOTES. 95 

the inhabitants of the fields, became aware of this prodigious difficulty, 
and pitying the distress of the partner of the mighty god, and execrating 
the mother-in-law's cruelty, it ran busily about and summoned together the 
whole tribe of ants in the neighbourhood, crying to them, " Take pity 
on her, ye active children of the all-producing earth. Take pity, and make 
haste to help the wife of Love, a pretty damsel, who is now in a perilous 
situation." Immediately the six-footed people came rushing in whole 
waves, one upon another, and with the greatest diligence separated the 
whole heap, grain by grain. Then having assorted the various kinds into 
different heaps, they vanished forthwith. At night-fall Venus returned home 
from the nuptial banquet, exhilarated with wine, fragrant with balsams, and 
having her waist encircled with blooming roses. As soon as she saw with 
what marvellous expedition the task had been executed, " This is no work 
of your hands, wicked creature," she said, "but his whom you have charmed, 
to your sorrow and his," and throwing her a piece of coarse bread, she went 
to bed.' (Bohn's Glass. Lib., Apuleius, p. Il6.) 

P. 18. I. sort asw«Jer = arrange in sorts or classes. 

2. from out the ruide, &c. See Genesis iii. 5, and 22; Paradise Lost, 
780-101 I. 

5. that doom, &c. See Genesis ii. 16, 17. 

11. Notice the emphasis given by the triple repetition o^ and yet. 

12. the true warfaring Christian. In the edition of 1 644 the reading is 
wayfaring. * Baron,' says Holt White, ' who saw the quarto edition of the 
prose works through the press, unwarrantably changed " wayfaring " into 
"warfaring." There was no need of emendation — " wayfaring" is in oppo- 
sition to "cloister'd." It is beside more consonant to Scripture, and therefore 
more likely to have come from Milton: "The wayfaring men, though fools, 
shall not err therein." Isaiah ch. 35. v. 8.' But (i) there is some 
warrant for the change, as I can show, whether Baron knew it or not ; and 
(2) the change is certainly an improvement. The warrant is to be found in 
a copy of the Areopagitica presented by Milton himself to one Thomason 
('ex dono Authoris' is written in Thomason's hand on the title-page), now 
preserved in the British Museum (Press-mark 182 E 18), where the 'y' 
is crossed out and 'r' written above, credibly by the author himself. See 
The Athenceum for Oct. 11, 1873. That the change is an improvement 
the context, I think, makes clear. Wayfaring is not an adequate word 
for the occasion. It does not imply such activity and resistance as the con- 
text demands. More than mere movement must be expressed. It is of the 
Christian militant and struggling that Milton speaks. Cp. Bishop Hall's Con- 
templations, Gideon's Preparation and Victory : ♦ How many make a glorious 
show in the warfaring church which when they shall see danger of persecu- 
tion shall shrink from the standard of God V Hooker also has the word, 
Ecclesiastical Polity, viii ; see Richardson. 

13. I cannot praise, &c. Cp. what Cicero says of oratory, De Oratore, 
1. 34. 157: 'Educenda deinde dictio est ex hac domestica exercitatione et 



g6 AREOPAGITICA. [P. i8. 

iimbratili medium in agmen, in pulverem, in clamorem, in castra atque aciem 
forensem.' 

16. that iviinortall garland. That = that famous ; so Lat. ille, as Cicero, 
de Oratore, ii. 14. 58: 'Xenophon, Sokraticus ille,' &c.; and Greek Ikuuos, 
as Homer, Iliad, xxiv. 90 : 

TtTTTf /X6 Kcivo^ dvcaye /xiyas Oeos ; 
not without dust and heat. Compare Horace, Ad Pisones, 412-413: 
* Q^ii cupit optatam cursu contingere metam, 
Multa tulit fecitque puer, sudavit et alsit.' 

23. a blanl- vertue = ?i colourless, neutral, ineffectual thing. 

24. hut an excrementall tvhiteness = is but superficial, not essential, only 
•skin-deep.' (Mr. Lobb.) A mere outgrowth. Excretnent = excr€sctnce = 
an outgrowth. See Comedy of Errors, ii. 2. 79 : ' Why is Time such a 
niggard of hair, being, as it is, so plentiful an excreinentl^ &c. So 'my 
pedlar's excrement' ( = my pedlar's beard) in Winter's Tale, iv. 4. 733. 
See Nares' Glossary. 

25. our sage and serious Poet Spencer, &c. Milton told Drydcn that 
Spenser was his * original.' (See Dryden's Fables, Preface.) Without 
any such confession, it would have been evident from Milton's earlier 
works how great was the influence of Spenser over his youthful mind. To 
say nothing of numerous Spenserian echoes that may be detected, it is to 
the Faerie Qiieene that he especially alludes in II Penseroso after his mention 
of the Squire's Tale of Chaucer : 

' If aught else great bards beside 

In sage and solemn tunes have sung 

Of turneys and of trophies hung. 

Of fores' s and enchantments drear, 

Where more is meant than meets the ear.* 
He quotes at length from the fifth book of the Shepherd's Calendar in his 
Animadversions upon the Remonstrant's Defence, &c, : ' Let the novice 
learn first to renounce the world, and so give himself to God, and not 
therefore give himself to God that he may close the better with the world, 
like that false Palinode in the Eclogue of May, under whom the poet lively 
personates our prelates, whose whole Hfe is a recantation of their pastoral 
vow, and whose profession to forsake the world, as they use the matter, 
bogs them deeper into the world. Those our admired Spenser inveighs 
against, not without some presage of these reforming times: 
' The time was once and may again return 
(For oft may happen that hath been beforn),' &c. 

26. a better teacher, &c. Cp. Horace, Epistles, i. 2. 3, 4, of Homer 

* Qui quid sit pulchrum, quid turpe, quid utile, quid non, 
Planius ac melius Chrysippo et Crantore dicit.' 
Scotus — John Duns Scotus, the famous schoolman, whose second name has 
to unfairly acquired the sense of dullard, born circ. 1 265, died at Cologne 



p. 19.] NOTFS. 97 

1308. Be sure not to confound him, as is sometimes done, with Johannes 
Scotus Erigena of the ninth century. 

27. Aquinas. 'The Angelic Doctor,' the 'Angel of the Schools,' born 
circ. 1224, died 1274. On certain radical questions of thought his views 
were exactly opposed to those presently urged by Scotus. See Butler's 
Hudibras, i. 151, ed. Zachary Grey: 

* In school divinity as able 
As he that hight Irrefragable ; 
A second Thomas, or at once, 
To name them all, another Dunce, 
Profound in all the nominal 
And real ways, beyond them all ; 
For he a rope of sand could twist 
As tough as learned Sorbonist ; 
And weave tine cobwebs fit for skull 
That 's empty when the moon is full ; 
Such as take lodgings in a head 
That 's to be let unfurnished.' 

28. Guion. See Faerie Queene, ii. 

with his palmer. The Palmer was not with him in the Cave of Mam- 
mon; see ii, 8. 3. For a description of the Palmer see ii. I. 7. 

29. the Cave of Mammon. See ii. 7. 26-66. 
the Bower of Earthly Bliss. See ii. 12. 

P. 19. 2. scout is from Old Fr. escotiter ^Lzt. auscultare. Paradise Lost, 

ii. 131: — 'Oft on the bordering Deep 

Encamp their legions, or with obscure wing 
Scout far and wide into the realm of night 
Scorning surprise.' 

For the noun see Paradise Lost, iii. 543-554. In Comus 1 38 the Morning is 

described as ' the babbling eastern scout.' Scout, to reject with disdain, is 

a quite different word. 

4. tractat. The Latin word is ' Classical' in this sense, as Pliny, xiv. 4. 5 : 

'Separatim toto tractatu sentenlia ejus judicanda est.' Our tract is a mere 

abbreviation of tractate. Treatite comes from the same stem through the 

French. 

10. \/or that of times, &c. Illustrate what is said here.] 

11. not nicely = \n a plain-spoken way, without mincing. See what is 
said of God's ' tart rhetoric ' in An Apology for Smectymnuus. On nice see 
Mr. Jerram's note to Par. Reg. iv. 157. 

12. not unelegantly, i.e. elaborately. 

it brings in holiest men, &c. See the book of Job. 

19. Talmudest. On the Babylonian Talmud see Milman's History of the 
Jews, iii. 4-6, On both Talmuds — the ' Gemara ' of Jerusalem, as well as 
that of Babylon — see Smith's Bible Diet., s. v. Talmud. See also Literary 
Remains of Emanuel Deutsch. The name means ' doctrine.* 



98 AREOPAGITICA, [P. 19. 

what ails, &c. * What is the matter with, or the character of the modesty 
of his marginal readings?' &c. So The Judgment of Martin Bucer concern- 
ing Divorce : * But when I was told that the style (which n/hal it ails to be 
so soon distinguishable I cannot tell),' &c. 

1 7. his marginall Keri, Sec. The language of the text (Cheliv, or cethib 
= written), when it seemed too strong or plain, was glossed in the margin, 
(^eri — read) ; see An Apology for Smectymnuiis, where is discussed the out- 
spoken phraseology of Scripture. (Works, p. 84.) Are we to believe ' that 
Jonathan or Onkelos the targumists were of cleaner language than he that 
made the tongue ?' Mentioning a special case, and remonstrating against any 
enfeebling substitution, he continues : ' Whereas God, who is the author both 
of purity and eloquence, chose this phrase as fittest in that vehement 
character wherein he spake. Otherwise that plain word might easily 
have been forborn ; which the masoreths and rabbinical scholiasts, not 
well attending, have often used to blur the margent with Keri instead 
of Ketiv, and gave us this insulse rule out of their Talmud, " That all 
words which in the law are written obscenely, must be changed to more 
civil words ;" fools who would teach men to read more decently than God 
thought good to write. And thus I take it to be manifest, that indignation 
against men and their actions notoriously bad hath leave and authority oft- 
times to utter such words and phrases, as in common talk were not mannerly 
to use. That ye may know, not only as the historian speaks, " that all 
those things for which men plough, build, or sail, obey virtue," but that all 
words, and whatsoever may be spoken, shall at some time in an unwonted 
manner wait upon her purposes.' Holt White quotes also Defensio Secunda : 
' Non Prophetarum scripta tuam turpiculi immo nonnunquam plane obscaeni 
censuram effugerint, quoties Masorethis et Rabinis pro eo quod diserte scrip- 
tum est suum libet Keri adscribere. Ad me quod attinet fateor malle me 
cum sacris scriptoribus evOvpprjfiova quam cum futilibus Rabinis evffx'rjH'OPa 
esse.' 

22. Clement of Alexandria. See Mosheim, i. 52, Of the Second Century. 
His Hortatory Address to the Greeks (A070S TrpoTpenTiKos irpbs tovs 
EX.?K7)vas) dealt with the impurities of polytheism. 

Etisebius, born circ. 264 in Palestine, died circ. 340, Besides The Evan- 
gelical Preparation (Eua77eA.i«^s aTroSe/^ecus rrpoirapaaKevri), the work here 
referred to, he wrote an Ecclesiastical History, Life of Constantine, The 
Chronicon, &c. See Mosheim. 

[23. Explain transmitting our ears, &c.] 

25. Irenaeus, chosen bishop of Lyons in 177. All his works are lost 
except that against Heresies, which is preserved in a Latin version. 

Epipha?iius, chosen bishop of Salamis in Cyprus in 367. His work en- 
titled Panarium was written against all the heresies that were. 

26. discover = uncover, display, exhibit, as Mer. of Ven. ii. 6. 7. 

31. ivrit. This form of the preterite is probably due to the tendency to 
assimilate perfect and past-participial forms, assisted by the fact that the plural 



p. 20.] 



NOTES, 



99 



form of certain verbs contained the vowel of the past-participle. Thus the 
pi. pret. of write was writen. See Morris and Skeat's Specimens, vol. ii. 
p. xxxiii. (The A.-S. pret. is wrat?) So in the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries we find driv = drove, smit = smote, rid — rode, ris = rose ; see 
Morris's English Accidence, p. 165. 

P. 20. 3. cri//c/sws = refinements, niceties, ' elegantiae,* &c. ; the sins 
which a critic accomplished in that line would select as choice and laudable. 
So criticism here = not a judgment or sentence, but that which is selected by 
a judgment. Cp. Tacitus' 'erudito luxu' of Petronius, and the quotation in 
the following note. 

4. Petronius, died by 'necessity* in 66. See Tacitus, Annals, xvi. 18, 19 : 
'Inter paucos familiarium Neroni adsumptus est, elegantiae arbiter, dum nihil 
amoenum et moUe adfluentia putat nisi quod ei Petronius adprobavisset.' 

the Master of his Revels. This was an official title in Tudor England, 
See Collier's History of English Dramatic Poetry. 

. 5. That notorious ribald of Arezzo = Aretino, I /[^g2-j;^^J. See Roscoe's 
Leo the Tenth, ii. 271-6: 'The life of Aretino may be denominated the 
triumph of effrontery.' See Milton's Commonplace Book, published by the 
Camden Society. 

ribald, Fr. ribaud. It. ribaldo, is derived ultimately from an old Germ, 
word meaning a prostitute, with the suffix aid; see Diez's Rom. Lexicon. 
For the medieval use of the word Diez quotes from Matthew Paris : * fures, 
exules, fugitivi, excommunicati, quos omnes ribaldos Francia vulgariter con- 
suevit appellare.' 

dreaded, &c. The pungency of his satires made him formidable to the 
objects of them, as it also made them intensely popular with the general 
reader. Sometimes he was bribed into silence ; once or twice soundly flogged. 

7. for posterities sake. This would seem to mean that some known de- 
scendants of Skelton or of Wolsey were living when Milton wrote. Skelton 
was of a Cumberland family; see Fuller's Worthies, i. 346. 

whom Harry the 8., &c. perhaps = Skelton of Diss in Norfolk. See note 
on p. d. of Mr. Lobb's Areopagitica. Diss was 'in merriment' identified 
with Dis, the god of the infernal regions, and the god's name used for 
those regions themselves. It is perhaps scarcely worth noticing that 
Skelton was Rector, not Vicar of Diss. Diss is often spelt with one s, as 
by Fuller. Skelton was at one time tutor to Prince Harry. See Warton's 
History of English Poetry, ii. 489-513, &c., ed. 1840 ; also Fuller's Worthies, 
ii. 461, 462, ed. 1840. Erasmus gives Skelton a very diflTerent title, in 
a letter to Henry the Eighth, styling him ' Britannicarnm literarum lumen et 
decus.' By the ' Vicar of Hell ' others have supposed Wolsey was meant 
(see Lord Herbert's Henry the Eighth : * Briefly, to use Polydore's words, he 
made his private house " Voluptatum omnium sacrarium quo regem frequenter 
ducebat"'); others Thomas Cromwell; others Andrew Borde; others one. 
Gray, a maker of ' ccrtaine merry ballades.' The phrase itself is obviously 
A travesty of the Pope's title of * Vicar of Christ.' 

H 2 



TOO AREOPAGITICA. [P. 20. 

9, fore'ine. There should be no g in the word, any more than in sovereign. 
The Yr.forain is from the Lzt./oraneus. 

10. an Indian voyage. The 'overland' route to India under such con- 
ditions as controlled it in the seventeenth century was excessively protracted 
and tedious. It was beheved that some much shorter route might be dis- 
covered by sea, either by a North-East or a North-West passage. See 
I'ar,ulise Lost, x. 2S9 : 

♦ As when two polar winds, blowing adverse 
Upon the Ciouian sea, together drive 
Mountains of ice that stop the imagined way 
Beyond Petsora eastward to the rich 
Cathaian coast.' 

Where the Cronian=the Northern, the Arctic Sea, and Petsora is the most 
N.W. province of Muscovy. 

1 2. Cataio = Cathay, a province of Tartary, the ancient seat of the Chams. 
See Paradise Lost, xi. 3S8 ; see also Milton's Brief History of Muscovy, 
chap, iii, Of Tingoesia and the Countries adjoining eastward as far as 
Cathay ; Maundevile's Voiage and Travaile, chap, xx ; Marco Polo's Travels, 
Book ii ; Smith's Gibbon, viii. 10. n. From the bad character given the 
inhabitants by travellers, Cataian = chezt, sharper, as Merry Wives, ii. 1, &c. 
See Nares' Gloss. 

by Canada Westward. The discovery of a North-West passage, or passages, 
has, as is well known, been made in our own time. Whether it is of any 
great value, except as promoting geographical science, may perh.^ps be 
doubted. For a brief general account of efforts towards this discovery, 
and of the achievement of it, see Milner's Gallery of Geography, Introd. 
chap, v, North-Eastern, North-Western, and North-Polar Voyages. See also 
Lardner's Cab. Cycl , History of Maritime and Inland Discovery, ii. 136-203 ; 
Hakluyt Society's Narratives of Voyages towards the N.W. in search of a 
passage to Cathay and India 1 496- 1 63 1, ed. T. Randall. 

[13. Explain our Spattish licencing.] 

15. doubtful = ^ezT^\i\. Cp. King John, iv. I. 130: 

♦ And, pretty child, sleep doubtless and secure,' 
&c. Halliwell, in his edition of Nares' Glossary, quotes from Beaumont and 
Fletcher : 

• I'll tell ye all my fears : one single valour, 
The vertues of the valiant Caratach 
More doubts me than all Britain.' 

17. permitted = \t\ pass. 

22. as the Prophesie of Isaiah, &c. See Acts viii. 30. 

25. Sorbonists = xht scholars of the Sorbonne, the great theological school 
of Paris, founded in 1252 by Robert de Sorbon. confessor and chaplain to 
Louis IX, • This institution, the teachers in which were always doctors and 
professors of theology, acquired so much fame that its name was extended to 
the whole theological faculty of the university of Paris, which was called till 
thf end of the eighteenth century Sorbonne. Its opinions and decrees had a 



p. 21.] NOTES, lOI 

decided influence upon the character of Catholicism in France,* &c. (Pop. 
Encycl., s. v. Sorbonne.) The building had been splendidly restored, oi 
rather a new building had been raised, by Richelieu some twenty-five years 
before Milton wrote the Areopagitica. * It is now the seat of three of the five 
Faculties of the Academy of Paris, Theology, Sciences and Letters,' &c. ; see 
Murray's Handbook of Paris, &c. Milton mentions the Sorbonists again in 
his Defence of the People of England, chap, xiv : ' Finding yourself destitute 
of any assistance or help from orthodox Protestant divines, you have the 
impudence to betake yourself to the Sorbonists, whose college you know 
is devoted to the Romish religion, and consequently but of very weak 
authority amongst Protestants,' &c. The reading in Butler's Hudibras in 
all editions till 1704 in i. I. 158-9 was — 

♦ For he a rope of sand could twist 
As tough as learned Sorbonist* 
and how fast, 8cc. Cp. Lycidas, 12S-9: 

' Beside what the grim wolf with privy paw 
Daily devours apace, and nothing said.' 

28, distinct, not = distinguished, but rather clear-headed, definite, decided, 
Arnwiius, or Harmensen, 1 560-1609. The change in his views alluded 

to in the text took place after he had settled at Amsterdam in 1588. See 
Mosheim, ii. 242, 261 ; Hallam's Constitutional Hist, of England, chap, vi, &c. 

29. perverted. What favour Arminianism had in Milton's time found in 
this country, it had found with Laud and the High Church party. -The 
anti-Episcopalians were for the most part staunchly Calvinistic. Hence per- 
verted, not converted. The Liit. perver/ere — to overturn, destroy, corrupt; 
as Tacitus, Ann. xiii. 45 : ' OUium honoribus nondum functum amicitia 
Sejani pervertit' &c. 

a namelesse discours. ' A ce moment [just when he became Professor of 
Theology at Leyden] il fut charge par Martin Lydius, prnfesseur de th»'^ologie 
h Franeken, de defendre la doctrine de Tlit'-odore de Beze sur la predestina- 
tion, qui etait attaquce par les ministres de Delft. Arminius examina 
I'ouvrage des nn'nistres, Ic compara au systeme de Calvin et de Boze, balan^a 
les raisons de pirt et d'autre, et finit par adopter les sentiments qu'il s'etait 
propose de combattre. II manifesta scs opinions dans ses theses du 7 fevrier, 
1614.' (Nouvelle Biog. Univ.) 

natneless = 3inonymo\is. 

F. 21. I. [ExpWxn of either sort."] 

8. beyond prohibiting is grammatically co-ordinate with without rvriting. 

9. cantelous is from Lat. cautela, a ' post-class.' word. Shakspere has 
the word twice. Cor. iv. i, 33, and Jul. Cues. ii. I. 129. For other Eliza- 
bethan instances, see N.ires. The noun occurs in Hamlet in the sense ol 
deceit; 1.3 14-16: * Pcrha[is he loves you now. 

And now no soil nor cautel doth besmirch 
The virtue of his will.' 
So 'cautels and subtelties' in Berncrs' Froissart, a[ud Richardson. 

H. the exploit of that gallant man, &c. Cp. the story of the inhabitants 



I02 AREOPAGITICA, [P. 22. 

of Borrowdale in Harriet Martineau's Complete Guide to the English Lakes, 
how they ' determined to build a wall to keep in the cuckoo, and make the 
spring last for ever.' The wail was built, but was a failure ' because it was 
not built one course higher.' * 

1 3. pound is from the A.-S. pyndan, to shut in ; pen is in fact the same 
word. Pound, a weight, is of quite different origin. 

19. 7i«corrz//>/5(fness = incorruptibility. Cp. ' unreproved,' L'Allegro, 40, 
&c. ; so the Lat. invictus. Sec. 

29. Aristotle. See Ethics, i. 3 : 'Now each individual judges well of what 
he knows, and of these he is a good judge. In each particular science, 
therefore, he is a good judge who has been instructed in them ; and uni- 
versally, he who has been instructed in all subjects.' Therefore a young 
man is not a proper person to study political science, for he is inexperienced 
in the actions of life ; but these are the subjects and grounds of this treatise. 
Moreover, being inclined to follow the dictates of passion, he will listen in 
vain, and without benefit^ since the end is not knowledge, but practice. But 
it makes no difference whether he be a youth in age or a novice in character, 
for the defect arises not from age, but from his life and pursuits being accor- 
ding to the dictates of passion ; for to such persons knowledge becomes 
useless, as it does to the incontinent ; but to those who regulate their appe- 
tites and actions according to reason, the knowledge of these subjects must 
be very beneficial.' (Browne.) 

30. Salomon. See Prov. xvii. 7, xxvi. 5, &c. 
otir Saviour. See Matt. vii. 6. 

[33. What is meant by idle pamphlet 9'] 

P. 22. I. we must not expose, &c. ♦ Trial will come unsought.' Paradise 
Lost, ix. 366. 

8. want = he without, as not uncommonly in sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries; thus Tempest, iii. I, when Ferdinand asks Miranda why she 
weeps, she answers (77-79) : 

' At mine unworthiness, that dare not offer 
What I desire to give, and much less take 
What I shall die to watit.' 
Sec. We still speak of ' supplying what is wanting.' 

10. qualijie. Cp. Two Gentlemen of Verona, ii. 7- 21-23: 
♦ I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire. 
But qualify the fire's extreme rage. 
Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason/ 
23. contrive is the Fr. controjiver. 
[What is the grammatical subject o{ prevented f^ 

14. He now proceeds to Point III, see p. 67. 

15. prevented = anticipated, fore-run, &c. ; Fr. prevenir, Lat, praevenire. 
See The Bible Word-book, and Trench's Select Glossary, s.v. The transition 
of meaning from fore-arriving to obstruction is well illustrated in the former 
work from Paradise Lost, vi. 129 : 



I 
I 



p. 32.] NOTES, 103 

' Half way he met 
His daring foe, at this prevention more 
Incens'd.' 

16. hath bin explaining. Explaining here is not a part, but a verbal 
subs., what is called in Latin grammars a 'gerund.' The prep, 'governing' 
the subst. has dropped out. The full phrase would be ' hath been on or in 
explaining.' Cp. 'while the ark was a [=on] preparing' (i Pet. iii. 20), 
See Longer English Poems, pp. 228, 234; also Smith's Marsh's Lectures on 
the Eng. Lang., pp. 462, 472 ; Morris's Eng. Ace, § 293. In some cases, 
where the subject is not an inanimate thing but a living, the -ing does 
represent a present part.; thus 'he is going '= Old Eng. 'he is gangende,' 
not 'he is on gangung,' See Morris, § 291 (3). 

l"/. ingenuity = our 'ingenuousness,' openness, frankness — a common 
Elizabethan sense. So Locke apud Johnson : ' If a child when questioned for 
anything directly confess, you must commend his ingenuity and pardon the 
fault, be it what it will.* 
■ when she gets a free and willing hand, &c. See Bacon's Adv. of Learning : 
' It appeareth also that logic differeth from rhetoric not only as the fist from 
the palm, the one close, the other at large ; but much more in this, that logic 
handleth reason exact and in truth, and rhetoric handleth it as it is planted 
in popular opinions and manners.' 

19. c?/sco«rs = reason. Hamlet, i. 2. I49 : 'a beast that wants discourse 
0/ reason.' lb. iv. 4. 36-39 : 

* Sure, he that made us with such large discourse. 

Looking before and after, gave us not 

That capability and godlike reason 

To fust in us unused.' 
See Monboddo on 'discursus mentis' and ' Siavoia^ apud Fleming's Vocabulary 
of Philosophy. 'Reasoning (or discourse;,'- says Whately, 'is the act of 
proceeding from certain judgments to another founded on them (or the result 
of them).* (Logic, ii. i. § 2.) 

20. which I began with. So the prep, was usually placed in Elizabethan 
English. Cp. Morris and Skeat's Specimens, ii. p. 272, 1. 59, 1872. Later 
in the seventeenth century it became common to prefix it to the rela- 
tive. The diflFerence in this matter of collocation between the first and 
the second editions of Dryden's Essay on Dramatic Poesy has been often 
noticed. 

ai. did use. The modern usage as to this form of the preterite began to 
prevail in the latter part of the seventeenth century. By Pope's time it was 
well established ; see Essay on Criticism, 346, &c. 

[24. Explain return here.] 

30. Plato. On this 'man of high authority indeeil' let the English 
reader consult Grote and Jowett. 

31. in the book 0/ his laws = h\s De Legibus, a distinct work from the 
De Republica. 



I04 AREOPAGITICA. [P. 23. 

33. 5«r^omaA7frs = town-rulers, magistrates, mayors, provosts; A.-S. burh- 
gerefas. See the word in the general sense of important persons, I Henry IV, 
ii. I. 84. Cp. 'third borough,' Taming of the Shrew, Induction. Burgh = 
bury, borough, Sec. ; see Taylor's Words and Places. The root is found in 
A.-S. beorgati. Germ, bergen, &c., to protect. Cp. Sidney's ' honest burgesses 
of Athens' (Apol./or Poelrie, p. 21, ed. Arber). 

P. 23. 2. an Academick nighl-silti!ig = a .symposium in the Academia. 
See Paradise Regained, iv. 244 : 

' See there the olive-grove of Academe, 
Plato's retirement, where the Attic bird 
Trills her thick- warbled notes the summer long.' 

3. By tvhich laws, &c. See De Legibus, vii. pp. 810, 811 ; Grote's Plato, 
"'. 379-381. 

4. but by unalterable decree, 8cc. The language is elliptical here. The 
sense seems to be : He tolerates no learning but that which he fixes by un- 
alterable decree ; and this learning, so fixed, consists, &c. See a similar 
looseness in Pepys' Diary, p. 314, Chandos edhion : 'Having staid, and 
in an hour's time seen the fire rage every way, and nobody to my sight 
endeavouring to quench it but to remove their goods and leave all to the 
fire,' &c. 

7. that no Poet, Blc. M^/Se riva roX/nav adav ddoKifxov /xovrrav fx-q 
KpivavTOJV Twv vofJO(pvXdKa!v jj.T]5' av rjdloov 17 rav Qafitpov re Koi 'Opi^^eiajv 
vp.vS)v. See Jowett's Plato, iv. 315. 

9. Law-heepers — i'opio(pvX.aKes. 

10. /o = to apply to, with a view to, &c. 

12. Why was he not else, &c. Cp. Milton's Latin 'lines De Idea Platonica 
quemadmodum Aristoteles intellexit, 35-39 • 

♦ At tu, perenne ruris Academi decus, 
.Haec monstra si tu prinms induxti scholis, 
Jamjam poetas, urbis exules tuae, 
Revocabis, ipse fabulator maximus : 
Aut institutor ipse migrabis foras.' 

14. the wanton epigrams and dialogues. The dialogues meant probably 
are the Symposium and the Phaedrus; but, if so, the epithet is certainly too 
violent and unsparing. 

15. Sophron Miiyius. Sophron, the mime writer, flourished in Sicily circ. 
460-420 B.C. His Fragments are collected by Ahrens, in his De Graecae Lin- 
guae Dlalectis. See An Apology for Smectymnuus : ' Nor yet doth he tell us 
what a mime is, whereof we have no pattern from ancient writers, except 
some fragments, which contain many acute and wise sentences. And this we 
know in Laertius, that the mimes of Sophron were of such reckoning with 
Plato as to take them nightly to read on and after make them his pillow. 
Scaliger describes a mime to be a poem imitating any action to stir up 
laughter.' &c. (Works, p. 78.) 

16. Aristophanes. See above, p. 7. 



p. 24.] NOTES. 105 

booh of grossest ittfamy. Certainly there are some indecent passages in 
Aristophanes' works ; but as certainly there are passages of exquisite beauty 
and noble tone. He is anything but an essentially gross writer. 

17. for commending the latter. Sec, See above, p. 7. 1 7-19. Of Plato's 
admiration for Aristophanes there can be no doubt ; see the Symposium 
(translated by Shelley) where Aristophanes is introduced in person. An epi- 
gram attributed to Plato runs thus : 

At XdpiT€$, T€fJ.iv6s Ti XaBeiv onfp ovxl iTfaeiTai 
^rjTOvaai, ipvxw ^vpov 'kpLOro(pavovs. 

18. the malicious libeller of his chief friends, as of Sokrates in the Clouds, 
of Nikias (see Plato's Laches) in the Knights, &c. 

19. the Tyrant Dionysius. See above, p. 7, 1. 18. 

20. trash, or tronsse, signified clippings of trees. See Wedgwood, who 
quotes from Robert of Gloucester, 552 : 

' Gret fur he made ther a night of wode and sprai. 
And tresche ladde ther aboute that me wide sai.* 
i*j. fell 7//;o;j = threw themselves upon, addressed themselves vigoroiisly 
to, adopted and enforced with rigour. Cp. 'fall to,* as I Henry VI, iii. 1. 
89, 90 : * Nay, if we be forbidden stones, we'll fall to it with our teeth.' 
Measure for Measure, i. 2. 3 : ' . . . why then all the dukes fall upon the 
King,' &c. Cp. Lat. incnmhere, as ' incumbe toto peclore ad laudem,' 
Cicero, Ad Fam. x. 10. 2 ; Gcorgics, i. 213,' incumbere aratris.' 
30. to shut and fort ifie, &c. Cp. Sams. Agon. 560-562 : 
• What boots it at one gate to make defence, 
And at another to let in the foe 
EfTeminalely vanquished ? ' 
P. 24. 2. No musich, ike. Plato accepts this necessity in his elaborately 
regulated republic. See a passage, wliich was probably in Milton's mind as 
he wrote the text, viz. Republic, 39S C-399 E. 
3. Dorick. Paradise Lost, i. 549 -551 : 

* Anon they move 
In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood 
Of flutes and soft recorders.' 
The Doric was the style of military music, contrasting with the soft Lydian 
mode (cp. L'Allegro, 136) and the harsh, wild I'iirygian. See Miiller's 
Dorians, 4. 6; ^ Aajpiarl dpfiovia, Aristotle, Politics, viii. 5. 22; Aristophanes, 
Kquites, 9S9 (where observe the word-play); Plato, Republic, 399 A: 
Tivfs ovv /MiXaKai re Kal avp-noTiKoX twv apixoviUjv ; 'laari, TfV 0' 6s, 
Kal Avdiari, aiTivts \'aAapa£ KuKovvrai. Tavrais oZv, a; <f)l\e, im noke- 
fUKuJV dvZpojv ioO 6 ri xpiiati ; Ovdaficjs, ttfji]' uWd kipSvv fvfi 001 AwpitTTi 
Kuviadai Kal ^pvfiaTi. k.t.K. 

6. for such Plalo, Sec. See Republic, .^oo. 

8. ail the lutes. Sec. Cp. Plaio, Republic, 399 C : Tpiyuvcov apa Kal 
VT]KTi5a>v Kal navTOJV opydvcov, oaa iroKvxop^ ical iro\vapn6vta, dtjiuovpyovt 
cv 9pi\f/ofjLfv. K.rJs.. 



Io6 AREOPAGITICA. [P. 24. 

9. gliittarrs. The Ital. form is chitarra ; the original word is Lat. 
cithara, Gr. KiOapa. Amongst the Greeks the instrument so called ' seems 
to have been identical with the <p6p/j.iy^, and can have differed little from 
the \vpa.' (Liddell and Scott.) 

10. prattle is a secondary verb from prate. Cp. dab, dapple; drip (drop), 
dribble, &c. 

[How would you parse what they may say ?] 

11. madrigalls. The first part of the word is said to be Lat. niandra 
(Martial, v. 22; Juvenal uses it for 'a herd,' iii. 236: ♦ stantis convicia 
tnandrae') ; Gr. fxavSpa, a fold, byre, pen, stable; Sophocles, Fragments, 587. 
fxavSpais €V lirireiaiaiv ; Theocritus, iv. 61. (In Eccles. Gr. a monastery; 
whence Archimandrite.) Spanish forms are mandrial and mandrigal. The 
-gal is said to be connected with the Teutonic verb galan (A.-S.), to sing; 
cp. nightingale. So the word would properly mean a herd song, a pastoral 
song, 'hirtenlied' (Diez), ' chanson de berger ;' but it came to be used in a 
general sense. See • that smooth song by Kit Marlowe : ' 

• There will we sit upon the rocks, 
And see the shepherds feed their flocks 
By shallow rivers, by whose falls 
Melodious birds sing madrigalls^ 

With Mihon's ' that whisper softnes in chambers,' cp. Dryden's Art of Poetry: 

• The madrigal may softer passions move, 
And breathe the tender ecstacie of love.' 

(Apud Richardson.) See Diez's Lex. Rom. 

13. Balcone's. Diez holds this word to be derived from a Germ, stem — 
the stem of balken, a beam, rafter. The -one is the common Ital. -one, as 
in pallone, and in our balloon. The penult is long with Sherburne (1618- 
1702), and with Jenyns (1704-87), and in Cowper's John Gilpin ; Swift has 
it short. See Richardson. 

shrewd, strictly = shrewish. Cp. the double sense of sharp, &c. Mid- 
summer Night's Dream, iii. 2, 323: 

• O when she *s angry, she is keen and shrewd.' 

14. Frontispices. This is the correcter orthography ; the vulgir spelling 
is due to an erroneous notion that the latter part of the word is connected 
with 'piece;' whereas it is from the Lat. specio. (For other instances of 
false etymologies corrupting orthography, see Max Miiller's Lectures on the 
Science of Language, second series, Lect. xi, &c.) Frontispicium properly = 
the front-look ; in architecture, a house-front. See Paradise Lost, iii. 
506-7 : ' The work as of a kingly palace-gate 

With frontispice of diamond and gold 
Embellished.' 
16. visitors. Cp. the use of this word at the Universities ; also visitation, 
as Isaiah x. 3, &c. ; visit, Exod. xx. 5, &c. Visitant seems rather to have 
been used in our sense of visitor ; thus, * the great visitant,' Paradise 
Lost. xi. 225. 



p. 24.] NOTES. 107 

lectures = readings. The word was used specially of the Sunday afternoon 
discourses of Puritan preachers. 

17. the bagpipe, now happily almost confined to the North parts of this 
island, once pervaded the South also. See Chaucer's Prologue (568-9), 
of the 'Mellere:' 

' A haggepipe cowde he blowe and sowne, 
And therwithal he brought us out of towne.' 
See Chappell's Popular Music of the Olden Time. 

rebbech. ' An instrument of music, having cat-gut strings and played with 
a bow ; but originally with only two strings, then with three, till it was 
exalted into the more perfect violin with four strings. It is thought to be 
the same with ribible, being a Moorish instrument, and in that language 
called rebeb. Thence it passed into Italy, where it became ribeca, ox 
ribeba, whence our English word. See Hawkins's History of Music, vol. ii. 
p. 96, note.' (Nares.) See also Chappell's Popular Music. Du Cange, 
S. V. Baudosa, quotes from one Aimericus : 

• Quidam rebecam arcuabant, 
Muliebrem vocem confingentes.* 
L'Allegro, 91 : 'the jocund rebecks,' &c. 

ev'n to, &c,, i. e. even down to, even as low as, &c. 

18. 6a//a/ry = balladry. The -ry has a collective force, as in yeomanry, 
cavalry, peasantry, &c. See note on trashtrie in Longer English Poems, 
p. 368; Morris' English Accidence, § 33 and 325. Various forms of ballad 
are balade, ballet, &c. ; see above, p. 8, 1. 3, and the note. 

gammiith is from Gamma, * the first letter of the musical notation In- 
vented by Guido,' and Lat, ut, ' the syllable used in singing the first note of 
the scale ' (the present do). Ital. gamina ; Fr. gamme. See Taming of the 
Shrew, iii. i. 72-8. 

18. municipal = country. See the next line. Cp. Burke's Reflections: 

* We provide first for the poor and with a parental solicitude we have not 
relegated religion (like something we were ashamed to show) to obscure 
municipalities or rustick villages.' This use is ' Classical.' * As the mmii- 
cipia were subordinate to the capital cities,' municipalis ' is sometimes used 
in a contemptuous sense, analogous to our provincial: municipalis eques 
(of Cicero), Juv. viii. 236 [238] ; m. ct cathedrarii oratores, Sidonius, Ep. 
iv. 3 ; poetae, id. Carni. ix. 310.' (Andrews' Freund.) Cicero, Phil. iii. 15: 

• Videte quam despiciamur omnes, qui sumus e municipiis.' 

19, Arcadia's. The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia was first printed 
in 1590, four years after Sir Philip Sidney's death. A more complete 
edition, differently arranged — the work was left unfinished — was published 
in 1593. See Hallam's Lit. of Europe, ii. 411, 438 ; Taine's Hist, of Eng. 
Lit. i. 164-172; Dunlop's Hist, of Fiction, chap. xi. &c. The Arcadia 
was immensely popular in the early seventeenth century. See Hallaui, iv. 
94, &c. 

Monte Mayors. Monte Mayor (circ. 1520-156^), a Portuguese by birth. 



Io8 AREOPAGITICA, [P. 24. 

was the author of the Diana, a pastoral romance, whose popularity spread 
from Spain, the especial land of romances, all over Europe. See Hallam, ii. 
2^2, 435; Dunlop, chap, xi ; Ticknor's Spanish Literature, iii, 82-84, ed. 
186.^; Sismondi's Literature of the Souih of Europe, chap, xxvi, &c. 
Shakspere is said to have drawn something of his picture of Proteus and 
Julia, in the Two Gentlemen of Verona, from the Felix and Felisnitna of 
the Diana. 

21. hears ill. A Greek idiom. Cp. KaKws duoveiv, KaKws kXv^iv. So 
the Lat. attdio, as Horace, Epistles, i. 16. 17 : 

• Tu recte vivis, si curas esse quod audlsj 

&c. : cltieo, frequent in Plautus and Lucretius. See Ben Jonson passim ; in the 
Dedication to the Fox he speaks of his age being one ' wherein poetry and 
the professors of it heare so ill on all sides;' see also his masque Love 
Restored : ' They are these make mee heare so /// both in towne and 
countrey as I do.' See also Faerie Queene, i. 5. 23 : 

• O what of gods then boots it to be borne, 
If old Aveugles sonnes so evill heare?' 

Paradise Lost, iii. 7 : 

' Or hear'st thou rather pure ethereal stream,' &c, 
( = Horace's ' libentius audis,' Satires, ii. 6. 20.) 

hoiishold gluttony. Cp. Chaucer's Franklin (Aldine Ed.): 

• Wei loved he in the morn a sop of wyn. 
To liven in delite was al his wone, 

For he was Epicurius owne sone. 
That heeld opynyoun that pleyn delyt 
Was verraily felicite perfyt. 
An househaldere, and that a gret, was he; 
Seynt Julian he was in his countre. 
His breed, his ale, was alvvay after oon ; 
A bettere envyned man was nowher noon. 
Wilhoute bake mete was never his hous, 
Of fieissch and fissch, and that so plentyvou.s. 
It snewed in his hous of mete and drynke. 
Of alle deyntees that men cowde thynke. 
Aflur the sondry sesouns of the yeer, 
He chaunged hem at mete and at soper. 
Ful many a fat partrich had he 'n mewe, 
And many a brem and many a luce in ste7/e. 
Woo was his cook but if his sauce were 
Poynant and scharp and redy al his gerc. 
His table dormant in his halle alway 
Stood redy covered a. the lOnge day.* 
* English Epicures,' Macbeth, v. 3. ' It is not for nothing that other coun- 
tries whom we upbraid with drunkenness call us " bursten bellied gluttons,"* 
Nash's Piers Penniless. Sir Andrew Aguecheek's view has found and finds 



p. 25.] NOTES, 109 

much favour with us, ' Does not our life consist of the ffur elenictits ? * 
asks Sir Toby. ' Sir Andrew. Faith, so they say; but I think it rather 
consists of eating and drinking. Sir Toby. Thou'rt a scholar ; let 115 
therefore eat and drink. Marian, I say ! a stoup of wine !' What Hamlet 
says of Denmark in i. 4. 14-22, is surely meant to describe England. Cj). 
Scott's picture of the Saxon Alhelstane in Ivanhoe. 

22. and what shall be done to inhibit, &c. A question still agitated, and 
far from settlement. 

25. Our garments also, &c. In the later Middle Ages laws were passed 
defining the dress material that was to be used. See the Statute of Apparel. 
1363, &c.; Fairholt's Costume in England, second edit., p. 116, &c. 'Acts 
of Apparel ' were also passed in the reigns of Edward IV, Henry VHI, Mary, 
and Elizabeth. See the decree of 1597 in the Egerton Papers (Camden 
Society), pp. 247-256. Such irrterferences have now long been desisted 
from. Listen to Adam Smith : 'It is the highest impertinence and presump- 
tion therefore in kings and ministers to pretend to watch over the economy 
of private people, and to restrain their expense either by sumptuary laws or 
by prohibiting the importation of foreign luxuries.' (Wealth of Nations, 
book II. chap, iii.) See Lecky's Rationalism in Europe, ii. 285, ed. 

1S75. 

2,7. garb. ' Formerly applied to the mode of doing anything, but latterly 
confined to the fashion of dress.' (Wedgwood.) Cp. Span, and Ital. garbo, 
&c. See Diez. who connects the stem with 'Old H. Germ, garawi, garwi, 
schmuck.' This gnrzvi — A.-S. gearwa, our gear. 

conversation. See p. 8, 1. 6. 

28. as is the fashion 0/ this Country. See almost any foreign work on 
English life and manners. 

30. what presum'd ; i. e. what degree of presumption — of liberty and 
boldness generally — may be permitted, how far we may go. This seenjs 
the sense rather than what Mr. Lobb suggests, who paraphrases 'what should 
be only implied,' opposing the words to ' what may be only talked about ' 
(=tohat shall be discoursd). The rhytlim of the sentence is against con- 
fining the words and no furder to what presunid- They apply just as much 
to ivhat difcours'd. 

P. 25 2. to sequester = to withdraw, retire. The verb is general'y transi- 
tive ; thus Sir T. More, Workes, p. 1046. apud Richardson : ' For liym 
hathe God the father sealed. This is to sai that him Jiath God the father 
specially sequestred and severed and set aside out of the number of ai 
creatures.' So Gray's Elegy, 75. The word is of Latin law origin. 

Atlantic^. See Bacon's New Atlantis. Hacon took the name from 
Plato's Timaeus (24 E-25 A), and his Critias ; see Criti.is, chap. vii. 

3. Eutopian. See More's Utopia, printed in Latin in 1516, translated 
into English by Ralph Robinson, and printed first in 155 1, and again in 
1556. See a re-issue of the second edition among Arbcr's English Reprints. 
For the orthography, the first syllable represents the Gr. ov (though perhaps 



no AREOPAGITICA. [P. 25. 

Milton thought ev, to judge from his spelling, which is also Sidney's in the 
Apol. for Poetrie)t the whole word signifying * Nowheria.' Sir Thomas 
More's knowledge of Greek was evidently not unlimited. Cp. Erewhon, 
the title of a book lately published, which is nowhere, written as nearly 
backwards as may be. 

polities = Tro\iT€ias, political systems. Not politics, as is conmionly 
printed ; e. g. in Bohn's edition. 

[6. Explain unavoidably here.] 

II. which Plato there mentions. See Republic, iv. 

13. these they be, &c. Cp. Horace, Odes, iii. 24. 35, 36, and 51-54 : 

• Quid leges sine moribus 

Vanae proficiunt? 

Eradenda cupidinis 

Pravi sunt elementa, et tenerae nimis 
Mentes asperioribus 
Formandae studiis.' 
2 1 . pittance, Fr. pitance. It. pietanza, &c. The word * au sens propre 
designe la portion que re9oit un moine a chacun de ses repas. II est encore 
employe aujourd'hui avec cette signification dans le langage monastique.' 
It is the Med. Lat. pietantia, which ' derive de pietatem et designe le pro- 
duit de la charity, de la piete des fideles. On appelait de meme au 
moyen age misericordia (pitie, compassion) certains repas monastiques.' 
(Brachet.) See also Du Cange. See Chaucer's Prologue, 223, 224, of the 
Friar : 

'He was an esy man to yeve penance 
Ther as he wiste to han a good pita7tce? 
Cp. Prynne's Treachery and Disloyalty, part ii. p. 33, apud Richardson : 
' They have beese allowed only a poore pittance of Adam's ale and scarce 
a penny bread to support their lives.' - The monastic officer who distributed 
the doles was called 'pitanciarius ; Fr. pitancier. Wedgwood derives the 
word from apidangant or apitangant = appetissant ; wrongly, I should say. In 
the text it seems to mean not so much ' an allowance,' as ' allowancing,' 
i, e. a system of allowance. 

23. grammercy. Cp. 'What thank have ye?' Luke vi. 32, &c. Chaucer 
gives the word in the agglutinative stage; see the Canterbury Tales, ed. 
Wright, 8964, 8965 : 

' Grauntmercy, lord, God thank it you, quod sche, 
That ye han saved me my children deere.' 
So in The Dream, wrongly attributed to Chaucer. For the use here cp. 
Utopia, ii. 8 : ' For many of them they bring home sometimes, paying very 
little for them, yea, most commonly getting them for gramercy.'' Coleridge 
uses the word, somewhat inaccurately, but according to Johnson's accour>t 
of it (see Dictionary), as an exclamation, in Ancient Mariner, 164: 

• Gramercy I they for joy did grin/ 



p. 27.] NOTES, 111 

24. many there be that, &c. He wrote Paradise Lost to 
' assert eternal Providence, 
And justify the ways of God to men.' 
See esp. iii. 80-134. 

28. a meer artificiall Adam, &c. = an automaton, a vevpoanaarov dyaX/xa 
(Herodotus, ii. 48), a thing moved d\}/vxoJV Siktjv opydvcuv (Clemens Alexan- 
drinus, 598). 

artificiall. See Bacon's Adv. of Learning, ed. Wright, Gloss, s. v. 

in the motions = in the puppet-shows. See Ben Jonson's Bartholomew 
Fair, 5th Act, passim; Winter's Tale, iv. 2, 102 ; ' Then he compass'd a motion 
of the Prodigal Son,' &c. This kind of entertainment is of very ancient origin. 
Herodotus says it was introduced from Egypt (ii. 48) ; see Bekker's Charicles, 
185 n. ed. 1854; Hone's Strutt's Sports and Pastimes of the People of Eng- 
land, pp. 165-167 ; Hone's Ancient Mysteries Described, 225, 229, 230; 
Spectator, No. 14, &c. See also Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprentice- 
ship, chaps, ii-viii. 

21. esteem not of = do not think highly of. So Spenser, To Sir Walter 
Raleigh : * seeing all things accounted by their shows and nothing esteemed 0/,' 
&c. 

31. /'ror/oJ^/no' = inviting, enticing, &c. Heb. x. 24 : 'And let us consider 
one another to provoke unto love and to good works,' &c. 

P. 26. 22. yet powrs out before us, &c. Comp. Comus, 762-779. 

23. gives us minds, &c. Hamlet, ii. 2. 315: 'What a piece of work is 
man,' &c. 

26. scanting. The adj. scant = iha.t which is measured exactly, and so = 
spare ; from Norse skamta, a measure, connected with skamr, short ; see 
Cleasby and Vigfusson. 

29. better done. Lycidas, 67 : ' were it not better done,'' &c. 

32. dram is contracted with drachm, Gr. dpaxf^rj. For the sense here 
cp. Hamlet, i. 4. 36. 

P. 27. I. [What * part of speech' is sure here?] 

3. ti/hatever thing we hear or see, &c. Cp. the Duke's experience in As 
You Like It, ii. I. 15-17: 

' And this our life exempt from public haunt 
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks. 
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.' 

9. that continued Court-libell, &c. = the Mercurius Aulicus, a virulent 
Royalist paper, published regularly once a week from the beginning of 1642 
to the latter end of 1645, and afterwards occasionaUy, by Sir John Birken- 
head, Reader in Moral Philosophy at Oxford ; see Holt White's note. The 
'Civil Wars of the seventeenth century were the birth-time of newspapers. 
(The English Mercuric of 1 588 has been shown to be a forgery.) See 
Disraeli's Cur. of Lit., art. Origin of Newspapers. 

15. blindfold. The full form would be blindfolded. 

17. frustrat. This form comes straight from the Latin. 



lia AREOPAGITICA, [P. 28. 

20. dnmlg'd= promulgattd, published, or made public. Par. Reg. Hi. 62. 

2 J', officials. A most odious term at the time Milton wrote. * kn Official 
was the name of the Officer in the Ecclesiastical Courts to whom the Bishops 
deputed the cognizance o^ spiritual ofTcnces. Laud had let them loose over 
the country.' So Holt White, who quotes from Of Reformation (' a band of 
looking Officials,'' &c.), from Cartwright's Ordinary, and from Clarendon the 
statement that Sir Edward Deering presented *a Bill for the utter eradication 
of Bishops, Deans, and Chapters ; with all Chancellors, Officials, and all 
Officers and other Persons belonging to either of them.* 

28. that the Commonwealth, &c. He is thinking of the decree of the 
Roman senate in critical times — ' darent operam Consoles ne quid Respublica 
detrimenti caperet.' 

29. damnify d. Faerie Queene, ii. 6. 43 : 

•"Harrow now out and well away!" he cryde; 
" What dismal day hath lent this cursed light 
To see my Lord so deadly damnifyde ? " ' 
The compound indemnify is common enough. 

P. 28. 2. according to the model, Sec. See above, p. 6. 1. 26. 
4. condiicend. So Faerie Queene, v. I. 25: 

' Thereto they both did franckly condis.cend.^ 
Carew, Survey of Cornwall, f. 88, has ' condiscended ,' Fabyan, an, 1361, 
•condyscendid.' See Richardson. 

7. s/ory = history. See above, p. 9. 1. Ii. 

8. of 7nany sects, &c. See Drayton's Polyolbion and Selden's notes — a 
work with which Milton often shows familiarity; Song x, where some com- 
plaining of the want of evidence there is for the older history of Britain, 

' Thus do I answer these : 

That th' ancient British priests, the fearless Druides, 

That minister'd the laws, and were so truly wise. 

That they determin'd states, attending sacrifice, 

To letters never woidd their mysteries comtnit, 

For which the breasts of men they deem'd to he more fit; 

Which questionless should seem from judgment to proceed. 

For, when of ages past we look in books to read, 

We retchlessly discharge our memory of those. 

So when injurious time such monuments doth lose 

(As what so great a work, by time that is not wrackt?) 

We utterly forego that memorable act ; 

But when we lay it up within the minds of men 

They leave it their next age ; that leaves it hers agen ; 

So strongly which (me thinks) doth for tradition make, 

As if you from the world it altogether take, 

You utterly subvert antiquity thereby.' 
The note compares the Cabalists. ' which until of late time wrote not, but 
taught and learnt by mouth and diligent hearing of their rabbins.' 



p. 29.] NOTES, 113 

10. The Christian faith, &c. The earliest Gospel in point of date is said 
to be that of St. Matthew ; the earliest Pauline Epistle is the 1st to the 
Thessalonians. Possibly St. Peter's and St. James' may be older than any of 
St. Paul's. However this may be, all the Epistles imply an aheady established 
Christianity. 

[21. What is the force of sit here?] 

22. be wafted, 8cc.= to float over the river which according to the ancient 
mythology divides life from death. 

28. journey-work = da.y-v/OTk, day-labourer's work, the work of a journey- 
man or un homme dejoiirnee, set, mechanical, servile work. 

29. vpon his head. Cp. poll-tax, 8ic.; nho the use of h^t. capiit, Gr. Kapa. 
33. in a hand scars legible. Milton himself took pains to write as clearly 

as possible. Cp. Hamlet, v. 2. 33-36. 

hand. So^fs/ also is used: see below, p. 32. 1. 7. Cp. Lat. mawws, as Cicero, 
Ad Att. viii, 13: ' Lippitudinis meae signum tibi sit librarii tnanus,' Sec, 
'Know you the hand?' Hamlet, iv. 7. 52. 

P. 29. I. woidd not down. Cp. the verbal use of up, away, &c. 
The emphatic word absorbs into itself, so to speak, the power of the 
formal verb; thus to down = to go down, &c. So dvd, as Homer, II. vi. 
331. &c. 

/^ of a sensible nostrill. A Latin phrase; see Horace, Satires, i. 3. 29 
and 30 : 

• Iracundior est pauIo, minus aptus aciitis 
Naribus horum hominum.' 
Cp. lb. iv. 8, • Emunctae naris ; ' Epod. xii. 3, ' naris obesae ; * Epistles, i. 19. 
45, ' naribus uti ; ' also Satires, i. 6. 5, ' naso suspendis adunco Ignotos;' ii. 
8, 64, &c. Orelli compares Plato's use of Kopv^dco, Republic, 343 A. Cp. 
also Cowper's Task, ii. 256 : 

* Strew the deck 
With lavender, and sprinkle liquid sweets, 
That no rude savour maritime invade 
The nose of nice nobility.' 
(See Shakspere, l Henry IV, i. 3. 45.) But our corresponding metaphor is 
taken not from the nose but the palate. We speak of a ' man of taste.' Cp. 
the French de bpn gout. 

sensible = OUT sensitive. So Dryden apud Johnson : 
' Even I the bold, the sensible of wrong, 
Restrain'd by shanie, was forced to hold my tongue.* 
Cp. sensihility. Locke speaks of ' sensitive knowledge,' meaning know- 
ledge * reaching no further than the existence of things actually present to 
the senses,* (= our sensuous). 
5. crave. A.-S. crafian, to ask. 
[7. What part of the sentence is looking on it, &c. ?] 

14. ridd. Rid is cognate with Girm. retten, to save, rescue. 

15. M/z/Ar//? = prodigal. 'Some in Parys sayde : "It is pytie theM 

I 



114 AREOPAGITICA, \V. 30. 

vnthrifts be vnhanged or drowned for tellyng of suche lies."* Berners' Froissart, 
apitd Richardson. 

17. salary. The Latin salarium originally denoted salt-money, money 
given the soldiers for salt, and then generally an allowance, stipend. Sec. The 
word, which of course came to us through the French, is certainly as old in 
England as Piers the Plowman, where it occurs in the form salerye. 

23. He now comes to Point IV, see p. 67. 

the no good. Cp. the use of ov in Gr. ; as, 17 tZv y€(pvpu!V ov 5id\t;- 
ais, Thucydides, i. 137 ; f] ov irfpLTeixicns, lb. iii. 95; 17 ovk l^ovaia, lb. v. 
50, &c. So TO fj.Tj KoKuv, Sophocles, Antigone, 370, &c. 

26. It was the complaint. Sec. Mr. Osborn notes that * when the Bill for 
abolishing Bishops, Deans, and Chapters was before the House of Commons, 
Dr. Hackett was heard in their defence (1641), and urged " that their endow- 
ments were encouragements to Industry and Virtue, and were serviceable for 
the advancement of Learning." These' were the arguments usually adopted 
in their favour.' 

28. pluralities. Plurality was a crying offence in Milton's eyes ; see 
Apology for Smectymnuus : ' The Prelate himself, being a pluralist, may 
under one surplice, which is also linnen, hide four benefices, besides the 
metropolitan toe,' &c. On the New Forcers of Conscience, 1-6 : 

* Because you have thrown off your prelate-lord, 

And with stiff vows renounced his Liturgy, 

To seize the widowed whore Plurality 
From them whose sin ye envied, not abhorred, 
Dare ye for this adjure the civil sword 

To force our consciences that Christ set free?' 
See also The Second Defence, Sec. 

29. dasht. Comus, 451-2 : 

* noble grace that dashed brute violence 
With sudden adoration and blank awe.' 
Psalm vi. 2 1 : 

* Mine enemies shall all be blank and dashed 
With much confusion.' 

30. / never found cause. Sec. See Remonstrant's Defence: * It had been 
happy for this land, if your priests had been but only wooden .... If you 
mean by wooden, illiterate or contemptible, there was no want of that sort 
among you ; and their number increasing daily, as their laziness, their tavern- 
hunting, their neglect of all sound literature, and their liking of doltish and 
monastical schoolmen daily increased.' Also The likeliest Means to Remove 
&c. : • ... as if with divines learning stood and fell, wherein for the most 
part their pittance is so small.' 

P. 30. 3. discontent. Suckling's Sessions of the Poets: 

* Those that were there thought it not fit 
To discontent so ancient a wit.' 



p. 30.] NOTES, 115 

17. over it is, 8cc. The full phrase would be ' over what it is,* &c. ; but 
• what ' having occurred just before in what advantage, Milton does not care 
to repeat it. 

18. scapt. So acape-gozt. Cp. craivfish with ecrevisse, craze with ecraser, 
&c. Escape is perhaps ultimately cognate with skip ; see Mr. Jerram's Par. 
Reg., Gloss. 

ig. ferular = the rod, the cane, the ' tawse * (see Jamieson). Mr. Skeat 
sends me a sketch of the thing from an old seal in his possession. It ex- 
panded at the end — the end designed for the victim — into a flat round ; that 
is, it was in shape like a battledore with the handle lengthened and the bat 
diminished, and so well adapted for effect on the palm of the hand, which 
was the part of application ; see Gerard Dow's picture of the Schoolmaster in 
the Fitz -William Museum, Cambridge. See Defence of the People of 
England: 'If I had leisure, or that if it were worth my while, I could reckon 
up so many barbarisms of yours in this one book as, if you were to be 
chastiz'd for them as you deserve, all the school-boys' /erw/as in Christen- 
dome would be broken upon you.' See other instances — from Bishop Hall's 
Censure of Travel and Feltham's Resolves — apud Richardson ; also Gosson's 
School of Abuse, p. 24, ed. Arber. The stem is the Lzt. ferula, which is of 
the same root as ferire, to strike; see Horace, Satires, i. 3. 120; Juvenal, 
i. 15, where see Mayor's note. See Martial, Epigrams, xiv. 80, ^Ferulae': 
' Invisae nimium pueris grataeque magistris 
Clara Prometheo munere ligna sumus.' 
The form ferularis is not found in Classical Latin ; the Classical adjs. are 
ferulaceus and feruleus. Ferularis would seem an analogue of regularis. 
But it may be the ferular of the text is a misprint (or ferula. 

fescu = the wand or pointer; another form is /^s/m. La.t. festuca, z stalk, 
stem, small stick. See Remonstrant's Defence : ' A minister that cannot be 
trusted to pray in his own words without being chewed to, and fescued to a 
formal injunction of his rote lesson, should as little be trusted to preach, &c.' 
See Sir T. More's Workes, p. 1 102 : * But I shall afterward anon lay it afore 
him agayne and sette him to it with zfestue that he shall not say but he saw 
it.* See Way's Promptorium Parvulorum, s. v. festu, note: 'In Piers 
Ploughman's Vision, line 6183 [Mr, Skeat's B-Text, x. 7'jS, festu], where 
allusion is made to Matth. vii. 3, the mote in the eye, festuca, is termed fescu. 
[So in the Wycliffite version.] The Medulla likewise renders " festuca. a 
festu or lytul mote." The name was applied to the straw, or stick, used foi 
pointing in the early instruction of children : thus Palsgrave gives '* festue, to 
spell with, festev." Occasionally the name is written with c or k, instead of t; 
but it is apparently a corruption [probably due to writing, as there is often 
confusion in MSS. between c and t]. *' Festu, a feskue, a straw, rush, little 
stalk or stick, used for a fescue. Touche a fescue ; also a pen or a pin for a 
pair of writing tables." CoTO.* In the Puritan, one of the plays falsely ascribed 
to Shakspere,/««/e = dial-hand; see iv. 2, Sir Godfrey Plus loq.: * Nay, put 
by your chat* nowe ; fall to your business roundly ; the fescue of the dial is 

I a 



Il6 AREOPAGITICA, LP. 31. 

upon the christ-cross of noon.' The form feaselrau, given by Halliwell, 
Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, is clearly due to some crude 
popular etymology. In Somersetshire occurs the form vester ; see Jennings' 
Glossary of West Country Words. 

21. the theam. This was the old grammar-school word for an essay; cp. 
Fr. theme. Ste Locke, On Education, § 171 : * As to themes thty have I confess 
the pretence of something useful, which is to teach people to speak hand- 
somely and well on any subject.' 

a Grammar lad = z grammar-school lad. The phrase is still so used 
provincially, as in Durham. 

22. utter' d. To utter = to outer, send out, issue. We still speak of 

* uttering coin.' 

22. without the cursory eyes, &c. = without his eyes running over or survey- 
ing it. Henry V, v, 2. 77-8 : 

• I have but with a cursor ary eyo 
O'er-glanced the articles.' 

a temporizing and extemporizing licencer = a licencer who considers only the 
expediencies of the moment, and arranges ofi'hand the means to satisfy 
them. 

25. standing to, &c. = standing close to, in near connection with, &c. 
So 'Sir John stands to his word,' I Henry IV, i. 2. 130, &c. ; and so our 
present usage. 

P. 31. 4. considerat. On the active sense of passive participles in Eliza- 
bethan English see Abbott's Shakespearian Grammar, § 294 and 374. 
Considerate has retained its active sense. 

5. walchings. Watch, xualce, wait are but various forms from A.-S. 
wacian. 

6. expence of Palladian oyl. * Operam et oleum perdere' was a common 
Latin phrase. See Cicero, Ad. Fam. vii. i. 3 (perhaps in the Latin phrase 
there is allusion to athletes ' oil ; see 1. c.) ; Ad. Att. ii. 17; see also xiii. 38 : 

• ante lucem quum scriberem contra Epicurios, de eodem oleo et opera exaravi 
nescio quid ad te et ante lucem dedi.' Lucubration means originally a 
working by lamplight. 

Palladian oyl = learned oil. The olive-tree was sacred to Pallas Athena ; 
of which dedication Milton perhaps here suggests a meaning. The old my- 
thology was never a dry and forceless thing to him. He, like Bacon, discerns 
in it ' the wisdom of the ancients.' The oil-light, by which men of learning 
studied, was. a gift of the goddess of learning. In the Latin poets Pallas 
sometimes = oil, as Ovid, Tristia, iv. 5. 3. 

uideasur'd = daxoKos. 

10. punie. Puny = puine — puis-ne, i.e. post-nattis or after-born. See 
Bishop Hall's Resolutions for Religion, apud Richardson : * Or [if any shall 
usurp] a motherhood to the rest .... and make them but daughters and 
punies to her,' &c. Of the Evil Angels : ' If still this priviledge were ordinary 
left in the church, it were not a work for puisness and novices, but for the 



p. 32-] NOTES, 117 

greatest master and most learned and eminently holy doctors which the 
times can possibly yield,' 

12. bayl is ultimately from Latin bajidus, a bearer, porter. 

idiot. See Trench's Select Glossary, also his Study of Words. 

17. under the Presse. We say * in.' ' Sub prelo' is the common sixteenth 
century Latin phrase. 

19. dilgentest. See above, note to p. 15, 1. 15. 

20. dares. Commonly, when we use dare with another verb, we do 
not inflect the 3rd person ; we treat it like the auxiliary verbs; but when it 
* governs an accusative,' then we inflect it. We say ' he dare not go,* but * he 
dares him to go.' See Morris's Eng. Ace, p. 184. The fact is that the 
words are different. The auxiliary dare is really an old preterite, like wot, 
wont, oiha, &c. See Grein's Bibliothek der Angelslichsischen Poesie, Glossar., 
s. v. durran; also Skeat's Moeso-Gothic Diet. p. 304. 

2^. jaunt. Old English jaunce, Old French jancer, 'to jolt, or jog.' 
(Wedgwood.) See Shakspere, Richard II, v. 5. 94; 

* Spurr'd, gall'd, and tri'd by jouncing Bolingbroke.* 
Ben Jonson's Tale of a Tub, ii. I : 

* Faith, would I had a few more geances on't.' 

27. acc7iratest = m.os,\. carefully considered, roundest. 

29. [V/hat is the meaning of melancholy here ?] 

31. Doctor is literally a teacher, as Cicero, Ad Fani, vii. 19, SiC. 

P. 32. I. patriarchal licencer. There is an allusion to Laud here. There 
was a popular rumour that he wished to become the Patriarch of the Westtru 
Church. See the quotation from Somers' Tracts, iv. 4;!4, Scott's edition, 
apud Holt White; also Of Reformation, where Milton says that ' whenever 
the Pope shall fall' the Bishops w-Jl try to get what they cati out of 
the ruin, 'hee a Patriarchdome, and another what comes next hand; as 
the French Cardinal [RicheHeu] of late, and the See of Canterbury hath 
plainly aflfected,* 

/»a/narc/ja/ = patriarch-like, who assumes the authority of a patriarch or 
head of ' the House.' naTpiapxTJs, compounded of irarpia and dpxos, — race- 
chief. In Eccl. Greek it was the title borne by the Bishops of Rome, Jeru- 
salem, Antioch, and Alexandria. 

2, hidebound is used of beasts, and of trees that cannot grow because their 
hides or barks are so thick ; similarly of corn. See Overbury's Characters, 
The Franklin: ' He is never known to go to law; understanding to be law- 
bound among men is like to be hidebound among his beasts — they thrive 
not under it.' See from Boyle's Works, vi. 483, apud Richardson, Cp, 
barkbound : see Mahn's Webster. 

which he calls his judgement. Cp. the late Lord Wcstbury's phrase : 
' what he is pleased to call his mind.' 

4. />fc?an/ic/t = schoolmaster- like, pedagogic. With the latter word it is said 
by some to be etymologically almost identical; pedant, they say, is contracted 
from pedagogant (is there such a word?), which is a secondary form from 



Il8 AREOPAGITICA, [P. 32. 

tedagogue. More probably, as Diez holds, it is from a Latinized form of the 
Gr. -naiZiviiv, the Ital. pedante. For pedant in the sense of ' schoolmaster ' 
see e.g. Love's Labour's Lost, iii. i. 179 : 

• A domineering pedant o'er the boy,' &c. 
What is now the common use began to prevail in the course of the seventeenth 
century. See Spectator, 105: 'A man that has been brought up among books 
and is able to talk of nothing else, is a very indifferent companion and what 
we call a pedant.' Coleridge, Biographia Literaria, chap. 10, says that 
' pedantry consists in the use of words unsuitable to the time, place, and 
company.' 

5. </mo- = fling; originally, to strike, as Havelok the Dane, 1. 215, the 
king 

•Ofte dede him sore swinge 
And wit hondes smerte dinge ; 
So that the blod ran of his fleys. 
That tendre was, and swithe neys.' 
lb. 227. 

' Thanne he hauede ben ofte swungen, 

Ofte shriven and ofte dungen' &c. 

See Skeat's Gloss, to Havelok, also Jamieson's Scot. Diet., Stratmann's Diet. 

of Old Eng„ Halliwell's Diet, of Archaic and Provincial Words, Vigfusson's 

Icel. Diet., s. V. dengja, &e, 

5. a coifs distance. Cp. Gr. SiaKovpa, as Homer, Iliad, xxiii. 523; 
lb. 431: 

oaaa 5e SicKov oZpa KaTcoixaSioio iriXovTai^ 
ovt' al^Tjos dcprJKev dvTjp, TTfipbutxevos tj^tjs, 
Toacrov (ire8pafi€TT]v. 
7. ^st. Cp. above, note, p. 28, L 33. See Roister Doister, iii. 5. 43, 
where the Scrivener bids Ralph 

' Loke on your own Jist,' &c. 

10. Stationer = the bookseller, or the publisher. All that the word meant 
to begin with was one who had a station or stall in the market-place. See 
Trench's Select Glossary, s. v.; Dryden's Mac Flecknoe, 95 ; Duneiad, ii. 31, 
&c. Trench quotes from Fuller's Appeal of Injured Innocence: 'I doubt not 
but that the Animadverter's Stationer doth hope and desire that he hath thus 
pleased people in his book for the advancing of the price and quickening the 
sale thereof.' 

11. [What is meant by return here?] 

14. this, i.e. the licensed book under consideration. 

15. from Sir Francis Bacon. See Bacon's tract entitled An Advertisement 
touching the Controversies of the Church of England, written 1589, first pub- 
lished in 1640 (he is speaking of the attempts of the bishops to suppress 
certain pamphlets): 'And indeed we see it ever falleth out that the for- 
bidden writing is always thought to be certain sparks of a truth that fly up 
in the faces of those that seek to choke it and tread it out : whereas a book 



p. 32.1 NOTES, 119 

authorized is thouglit to be but " temporis voces," the language of the time.' 
Milton quotes again from this tract, below, p. 38 ; again in the Animad- 
versions, p. 57 of Prose Works: '. . . insomuch that Sir Francis Bacon 
in one of his discourses complains of the bishops' uneven hand over these 
pamphlets, confining those against bishops to darkness, but hcensing those 
against Puritans to be uttered openly, though with the greater mischief of 
leading into contempt the exercise of religion in the persons of sundry 
preachers, and disgracing the higher matter in the meaner person.' See also 
Apology for Smectymnuus, p. 84 of Prose "Works. See Spedding's Letters 
and Life of Bacon, i. 78. 

17. which will be, &c. He will be a difficult man to succeed, as we sny. 
It is too much to hope that there should be two licensers of extraordinary 
judgment one after the other. Mr. Lobb takes the words differently. He 
paraphrases : * and if this should be the case the further continuance of the 
system would be seriously imperilled.' 

22. never so famous. So Psalm Iviii. 5: 'charmers charming never so 
wisely,' Midsummer Night's Dream, iii. 2. 442 : 

* Never so weary, never so in tvoe, 

I can no further crawl, no further go,' &c. 
See Abbott's Shak. Gr., § 52. 

25. ve«/roMS = venturesome, daring, audacious. Dryden's Knight's Tale: 
' The vent'rous knight is from the saddle thrown.' 
Faerie Queene, iv. 11. 7: 

* Who sore against his will did him retaine. 
For feare of perill which to him mote fall 

Through his too ventrous prowess proved over all.' 

27. decrepit means originally noiseless, and so forceless, weak, effete. 
Plautus speaks of a ' vetulus decrepitus senex,' Mercator, ii. 2. 43. 'In de- 
crepitos me numera et extrema languentes,' writes Seneca, Ep, ■26. 

28. though it were Knox, &c. Possibly he alludes to an edition of Knox*s 
History of the Reformation in Scotland, in which that work appeared with 
passages expunged. Disraeli refers to this mutilation in his article on 'The 
Licensers of the Press' in Curiosities of Literature: 'Knox, whom Milton 
calls "the Reformer of a Kingdom," was also curtailed;' (also = as well as 
Buchanan's History of Scotland). But was this edition mutilated by the 
licensers, or by the editor himself? See Holt White. 

Knox's life (1515-72) has been written by M'Crie (181 2) and Brandes 
(1863). Milton mentions him again in his Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, 
p. 238 of Prose Works: 'In the year 1564 John Knox, a most famous divine 
and the reformer of Scotland to the presbyterian discipline,' &c. ; and in his 
Observations on the Articles of Peace, p. 268 of Prose Works : ' But these 
blockish presbyters of Clandeboy know not th:it J<jhn Knox, who was the 
first founder of presbytery in Scotland, taught professedly the doctrine of 
deposing and of killing kings.' 

30. their dash, i. e. their erasure, their ' dele.' 



I20 AREOPAGITICA. [P. 33. 

32. per/unclory = meTc]y and narrowly official. Richardson gives from 
Bishop Hall's Sermon on Ecclesiastes iii. 4 : ' Let not our mourning be per- 
functory and fashionable ; but serious and hearty and zealous, so that we may 
furrow our cheeks with our tears.' 

to what an author, &c. Holt White suggests that the work referred to 
is the posthumous volumes of Coke's Institutes, published in 164I. Or is it 
Knox's History of the Reformation in Scotland ? See above, 1. 28. 

P. 33. 2. till a more conveniettt season. It would seem that such a season 
never came, as neither to Festus, whose phrase it is with regard to a second 
interview with St, Paul (Acts xxiv. 25). 

3. resented. See Trench's Select Glossary, s. v. Resent. 

5. such iron inoulds, i. e. such cancers. 

6. ^/miy = gnaw. See instances of the form with k from Chaucer, More, 
and North, apud Richardson. 

9. the more. The = fey that much; Lat. eo. It is an old ablative. 

13. dunce. See Trench's Study of Words, p. 108, and Select Glossary, 
$. v., and above, p. 18, 1. 26. 

15. every hiowing person. See below, p. 46, 1. 13, 'a knowing people.* 

19. set so light by, &c. Cp. 'to set store by,' &c. Perhaps light in this 
phrase should be lite or little, i.e. represents the old lyte, A.-S. lytel. By = 
by the side of, in comparison with ; Gr. irapa, and irpos. So ' to set so light 
by,' &c., is 'to compare with what is so little,' &c., = to reckon or rate at 
so little, put so low an estimate upon. 

the invention. Shakspere calls Venus and Adonis ' the first heir of my 
invention' Henry V, Prologue : 

' O for a Muse of fire that would ascend 
The brightest heaven of invention,' &c. 

the ar/ = the power to express and embody what ' the invention' suggests. 

21. // = the whole intellectual power of which the specific faculties — if 
'faculties' is not an obsolete word— have just been mentioned. 

26. monopolizd. The age of State monopolies, which had been felt in- 
expressibly odious, was only just past. See Hallam's Constit. Hist., chap. vi. 

27. //c^e/s = perhaps labels describing the quality, price, &c. of the goods 
on which they were placed; or labels testifying the goods are licensed to be 
sold ; or better, as Holt White : ' Acknowledgements for goods obtained on 
credit were then called Ticliets ;' see the instances he quotes. Hence our 
'slang* phrase 'to go on tick.' In derivation ticket is connected with stick, 
&c. The old Fr. form is esticquette. 

statutes, notes Holt White, ' are securities given for debts contracted by 
the purchase of merchandise.' See Shaks. Sonnets 134, Hamlet, v. I. II3. 

s.'andards, such as are established in trade matters, as for weights and 
measures, &c. See Blackstone, On the Royal Prerogative as to Weights 
and Measures, Kerr's ed. i. 270-272. 

28. a staple commodity = a. law-defined, chartered commodity. See Kerr's 
Blackstone, i. 308 : ' These [customs on wool, skins, and leather] were 



p. 35'] NOTES, 121 

formerly called the hereditary customs of the crown; and were due on the ex- 
portation only of the said three commodities and of none other; which were 
styled the staple commodities of the kingdom, because they were obliged to 
be brought to those ports where the king's staple was established in order to 
be there first rated and then exported,' &c. 

31. like that imposed, &c. See I Sam. xiii. 19-22. 

32. coulter, or colter, is the Lat. culler, which is from colo. 

P. 34. 1 2. disparagement means strictly ' an ill pairing,' a mesalliance. 
So disparage. Faerie Queene, iv. 8. 50. Cp. Camden's Elizabeth, an. 1563: 
* They disdained this marriage with Dudley as altogether disparageable and 
most unworthy of the bloud royal and royal majesty.* The general sense 
of any unworthy association, and so of degradation, prevailed in the seven- 
teenth century. 

17. jealotis. Lowland Scottish retains this verb; ste jealouse and jalouse 
in Jamieson. 

26. nor that neither. Observe the double negative. Instances of it occur 
in this phrase certainly as late as Goldsmith. 

P. 35. 2. laick, strictly = popular, pertaining to the people; Gr. XaiKoa; 
but has a depreciatory sense. Cp. lewd, vidgar. See Of Church Govern- 
ment : 'We have learnt the scornful term of laick,' &c. 

5. conceit, i. e. conception. Etymologically conceit, Ital. concetto, is a cor- 
ruption of the Latin concephim. 

12. enchiridion, l7x«tptStoj/ = hand-book, Lat. manuale. Observe the 
word-play here ; enchiridion also signifies • a dagger,' as Thucydides, iii. 70. 
Erasmus sports similarly, as Holt White notes : • Dedi Enchiridion [his En- 
chiridion Militis Christiani] ; ille contra gladiolum, quo non magis adhuc 
sum usus quam ille libro.* Life by Jortin, i. 358. In the sense of a 
hand-book the word was common in the sixteenth and seventeenth cen- 
turies. 

the castle St. Angelo of an Imprimatur, i.e. without the protection of 
some Papacy-born license. He refers to the fact that the Castle of St. An- 
gelo, then the Pope's prison, was once the papal fortress. Originally the 
Mausoleum of Hadrian, it was first occupied as the papal fortress by Pope 
John XII in the tenth century. In time it passed to other uses. See 
Murray's Rome. 

16. flourishes. See Love's Labour's Lost, ii. I. 13, 14: 

* Good lord Boyet, my beauty, though but mean. 
Needs not the painted flourish of your praise.' 

Richard III, i. 3. 241 : 

♦ Poor painted queen, vain flourish of my fortune.* 

The word was technically used of a blast of trumpets, as Richard HI, iv. 
4.148. 

17. what I have heard, Sec. See his account of his travels in his Second 
Defence, pp. 933, 934 of Prose Works. 

19. their lerned men. In the Second Defence, 1. c, he mentions Jacob 



122 AREOPAGITICA, [P. 36. 

Gad(H, Carolo Dati, Frescobaldo, &c. at Florence, Lucas Holstein ' and other 
learned and ingenious men ' at Rome, Manso Marquis of Villa at Naples. 

26. fustian. In the Apology for Smectymnuus he speaks of * Apuleius, 
Arnobius, or any modern fustianist.' FtisHan denotes originally a sort of 
coarse cloth; then stuffing, padding; in Uteralure it denotes words without 
force, mere verbiage. Cp. bombast. 

27. Galileo, born 1564 (the year of Shakspere's birth), died 1642. See 
his Life by Brewster; also Hallam's Lit. of Europe, 1 600-1 650, chap, viii, 

28. prii,otier to the Inquisition. He seems at the time Milton visited him 
(1638) to have been in what the Latins called libera ciistodia, i.e. not con- 
fined in any dungeon, but only kept under a certain restraint, as that he 
should not move away from a specified neighbourhood, or perhaps a special 
house. 

for thinking in astronomy, &c. As is well known, he held that the earth 
moved round the sun, and not the sun round the earth. Milton himself can 
scarcely be said to have accepted his views, but evidently they attracted him. 
See especially Paradise Lost, viii. 122-158: 

'What if the sun 
Be centre to the world, and other stars,' &c. ; 
also iv. 591-597. Wilkins (1614-1672) seems to have been one of the first 
Etiglishmen who formally supported them. See Morley's First Sketch of 
English Literature, p. 5 7 1. 

29. the Franciscan, &c. On the connection of the Dominicans with the 
Inquisition see above, note to p. 6, 1. 26. 

30. that England then, &c. See Hallam's Constitutional History, chap, 
viii. ; also Milton's own Of Reformation in England, &c. 

P. 36. 3. forgotten, i. e. made forgotten, caused to be forgotten. So 
sometimes in Elizabethan English remember = \.o make remembered, &c. See 
below, p. 38, 1. 15. 

7. parts, i. e. of the world. Sd we may still speak of Foreign Parts. 

9. in time of Parlament. From 1629 to 1640 had been a time of no 
Parliament. See Hallarn. 

11. without envy = sine invidia, abs-it invidia, without exciting any odium 
against me. Cp. Reason for Chtirck Government, p. 43 of Prose Works : 
' Yet for me sitting here below in the cool element of prose, a mortal thing 
among many readers of no empyreal conceit, to venture and divulge unusual 
things of myself, I shall petition to the gentler sort, it may not be envy to 
me.' 

12. an honest guaestorship, Sec. Cicero was Lilybaean quaestor in Sicily 
75 B.C. 

guaestorship. The duties of the quaestor were concerned with the public 
money. 

14. Verres! The extortionate propraetor in Sicily 73-71 B.C.; against 
whom the famous Verrine Orations of Cicero were delivered, or composed. 
(Only two of the seven were acfjally delivered.) See Forsyth's Life of Cicero. 



I 



p. 37.] NOTES. 123 

18. just reason = opObs \6yot. 

30, the disburdmng, &c. = the expression of a mere whirr, of my own. 

29. the shaking of every leaf. Observe the word-play. Milton is not 
altogether free from the punning plague of his time. See the notorious 
passage in Paradise Lost, vi. 558-567. 

P. 37. I. will soon put it out 0/ coti'roversie, &c. See Milton's lines On 
the New Forcers of Conscience. That bishops and presbyters were iden- 
tical was one of the points urged by the Puritans. See Of Prelatical Episco- 
pacy, where he maintains that it is * clear in Scripture that a Bishop and 
Presbyter is all one both in name and office.' Of course in the text Milton 
is speaking with a slightly bitter jocularity. What he now discovers m 
z moral as well as a historical identity ; and the question so long mooted is 
settled. Cp. Short's History of the Church of England, § 606. 

8. dioces is from the Gr. dioiKijais, (i) an administration; (2) the district 
administered. 

10. a my sticall pluralist = zx\ extraordinary, mysterious, perplexing plura- 
list ; one whose pluralities it would not be easy to define. The Episcopalian 
pluralist was at least an intelligible monstrosity. 

11. sole ordination, &c. The rights of sole ordination and of spiritual 
jurisdiction were amongst the points attacked by the Smectymnuans and 
defended by Bishop Hall. See Animadversions, p. 68 of Prose Works. 

novice is the Lat. novicius, which in earlier Latin at least is specially used 
of one recently made a slave; thus Plautus, Captivi, iii. 5. 60: 
* Recens captus homo nuperus et novitius.' 

Batchelor. ' Le bachelier, proprietare d'une baccalaria [ — une mdtairie, 
derived from Lat. vaccd], d'uu bien rural, est audessus du serf, tout en 
restant un vassal d'ordre inferieur. Ce mot prend ensuite le sens, en droit 
f^odal, de vassal qui marche sous la bannifere d'autrui ; puis de gentilhomme 
trop jeune pour lever banniere, qui sert sous la conduite d'un autre seigneur ; 
puis dans la langue de I'ancienne University, de jeune homme qui etudie 
sous un maitre pour acquerir la dignite inferieure a celle de docteur ; enfin 
de gradu6 d'une Faculte.' (Brachet.) The derivations that used to be given 
from bas chevalier, and from bacca lauri are ridiculous enough, 

Batchelor of Art. So Apology for Smectymnuus, sect, viii, p. 89 of Works. 
Art is here used in a collective sense. 

15. Covenants. * Cov'nants were the engagements which the Commons* 
House had drawn up for signature the year before and ordered to be sub- 
scribed by the Members of both Houses of Parliament and by the People. 
Beside this natural test or pledge of fidelity enjoined by the Parliament there 
were voluntary covenants by which the individuals of particular bodir.j 
mutually Dound themselves to sustain " the good old cause " and to be 
faithful to each other.' (Holt White, who refers to Memoirs of Colonel 
Hutchinson, &c.) See in any History of England some account of the Scotch 
Covenant of 1638 and the English of 1643. 

16. Protestations. In May, 1641, on the discovery of a scheme to call 



124 AREOPAGITICA, [P. 37. 

in the English army from the North to overawe the Parliament, the 
Commons drew up a Protestation declaring their resolve to uphold the 
Protestant faith against Romish innovations, to protect the Kinp;'s person, 
the freedom of parliament, and the rights and liberties of the subject. This 
Protestation was also taken by the peers and bishops. See Annals of 
England, &c. 

17. cAo/> = exchange. The original is the A.-S. cedpan, to buy. Cp. 
chap-nia.n, cheap, Chepstow, cheapen, &c. Lydgate gives the Dutch form 
in London Lyckpenny (Skeat's Specimens of Eng. Lit., p. 25) : 

' I gat me out of the doore. 
Where Flemynges began on me for to cry 
"Master, what will you copen or by?'" 
Chop is still common enough in provincial dialects, and amongst schoolboys. 

18. the Palace Metropolitan, i.e. Lambeth Palace. See Stow's Kentish 
Saxons, an. 456, apud Richardson : ♦ It [Kent] hath the Archbishopricke of 
Canterbury, MetropoUtane and Primate of all England, and the Bishopricke 
of Rochester, and kings as followeth.' 

20. an old cannonicall slight =i well-known trick allowed by the canon law. 
cannonicall. * The Apostolical Canons . . are certainly a forgery of 

much later date' than the Apostles. ' The Greek church allows eighty-five, 
the Latin fifty of them. The first ecclesiastical canon was promulgated 
A.D. 380. Canon law was first introduced into Europe by Gratian, the 
celebrated canon-law author in 1151 (or 1 127), and was introduced into 
England, 19 Stephen, 1 154.' (Haydn's Diet, of Dates.) The second part 
of the canon law consisted of 'the decretals ' = a collection of the Popes' 
edicts and decrees, and the decrees of councils. 

commuting our penance. See Jeremy Taylor's Rule of Conscience, i. 4: 
' Vitellescus vows to fast upon the last of February, but, changing his mind, 
believes he may commute his fasting for alms; he resolves to break his fast 
and give a ducket to the poor. • But when he had new dined, he discourses 
the question again, and thinks it unlawful to commute and that he is bound 
to pay his vow in kind ; but the fast is broken, and yet if he refuses upon 
this new inquest to pay his commutation he is a deceiver of his own soul.' 
Liberty of Prophesying : • There is so free a concession of indulgences 
appendant to all these, and a thousand fine devices to take away the fear of 
purgatory, to commute or expiate penance, that in no sect of men do they 
with more ease and cheapnesse reconcile a wicked life with the hopes of 
heaven then in a Roman communion.' See Remains of Archbp. Grindal, 
Parker Society Ed., p. 457. 

21. startle. Observe the intransitive use. 

22. [How would you parse be afraid?] 

conventicle is properly a diminutive of convent = 3. coming together, a 
meeting, an assembly. In the seventeenth century it came to be used 
specially of nonconformist meetings and meeting-houses. Cp. Beaumont's 
Psyche, xvi. 80 ! 



r 



p. 38.] NOTES. 125 

'The fond schismatick and heretick fry 
Flatter their conventicling cells in vain. 
As if the sneaking arms of privacy 

The great and catholick spirit could contain.' 
Taylor (Liberty of Prophesying, xii), speaks of * the conventicles of the 
Arians,* See Constitutions and Canons Ecclesiastical ; No. XI. Maintainers of 
Conventicles censured, and XII. Maintainers of Constitutions made in Con- 
venticles censured. P. 542 of the ed. of 1844. 
26, the rock of , &c. See Matt. xvi. 18. 

31. [What is the grammatical construction of /o shut us all up again ?] 
33. Who cannot but discern, &c. There is a pleonastic negative here. 
Either ' who cannot discern ' or ' who can but discern ' would have been 
sufficient (the latter phrase would have been ambiguous). Cp. the much 
' vexed ' passage in Macbeth, iii. 6, 8 : 

* Who cannot want the thought,' &c. 
P. 38. 2. baited down. Bear-baiting, as is weil known, was a favourite 
old English sport. See 2 Henry VI, v. i. 148-150 (Clifford to York, of 
Warwick, whose cognisance was the bear, and Salisbury) : 

' Are these thy bears ? We'll bait thy bears to death, 
And manacle the bearward in their chains, 
If thou dar'st bring them to the baiting place.' 
At the time Milton wrote this ' sport ' was prohibited, but it was neither 
forgotten nor extinct. 

6. voided out of the CA;vrcA = emptied out of, ejected fro/n the Church. 
Cp. Chaucer's Legend of Good Women : 

* When that the house voided was of hem all 
He looked on his doughter with glad chere.' 
Fabyan's Chronicle, Henry III, an. 1 230: ' The people there assemblyd voydyd 
the churche, and the vycarrys and chanons forsoke theyr deskys.' Void 
and avoid originally = to make empty. Strictly, therefore, we should speak 
of voiding or avoiding a place, not a person. 
9. run, i. e. let run. 
13. to her old fetters. See note above to p. 39, 1. I. 

15. remember them = make them remember, remind them. So King 
Lear, i. 4. 72 : 'Thou but remember' st me of mine own conception,' &c. This 
factitive use of verbs is very conmion in Elizabethan English. Sec above, 

p. 36. 1.3- 

16. this obstructing violence, Sic. The shameful 'violence' shown to- 
wards Leighton, Prynne, Bastwick, Burton, and many another had certainly 
'obstructed' the aims of the perpetrators. See Hallam's Constitutional 
History, chaps, vii, viii. Student's Edition. 

19. The punishing of wits, &c. Cp. Tacitus: ' Punilii ingeniis gliscit 
aoctoritas.' 

20. enhaunces = \\itxz\\y , puts forward, advances. 
23. a nursing mother: i. e. not only a producer, but a fosterer and 



IZ6 AREOPAGITICA. [P. 38. 

encourager. Isaiah xlJx. 23 : ' And kings shall be thy nursing fathers [«« 
Numb. xi. 12], and their queens thy nursing mothers.'' See Locke's Letters 
on Toleration, Letter 3, chap. ix. 

24, a step-dame. This is scarcely an accurate word. Step = A.-S. steop, 
meaning bereft, and thus a step-child = zn orphan. It would seem to have 
been used specially of a child who has lost one parent ; and, in an odd way, 
in the case of the surviving parent marrying again, the same prefix was used 
to denote the parent acquired by the marriage. Thus, while strictly speak- 
ing a step-mother or father should mean a mother or father who has suffered 
a bereavement, it does in fact denote just the opposite. In the common 
usage, all that a step-mother means is one who has to do with a step-child. 
For, a similar misuse cp. the terms grandchild and grandmother. Grand- 
mother is intelligible enough ; but grandchild ! Contrast the Fr, petite-fille. 
For the sense of step-dame here, cp. Gr. fxijTpvid, Lat. noverca, Fr. belle ^ 
mere. Cp. Sidney's ^/xjZ. /or Poet., p. 60, ed. Arber: ... 'to inquire why 
England, the mother of excellent wits, should be grown so hard a step-mother 
to poets,' &c. See the story of Battos in Herodotus, iv. 154, of Etearchos' 
second wife and her step-daughter: ij 5e itnaiXOovaa eSiKaiev etvai Kal r^ 
epyof /xrjTpvir) tt) ^povifxr), Trape'xouaa re KUKd. Kal rrav kv' avrfi p.rixavo:ixivrj. 
Observe how the dying Alkestis entreats Admetos, for their children's sake, 
not to marry again (Euripides, Alkestis, 304-310): 

TovTOvs [the children] avaaxov deanoras ijxojv dopLojv, 

Kal p^ 'Triyfiprjs roiffde p.r]Tpviav t4kvois, 

^Tis KOKiuv ova* ipov yvvf) (pOoVO) 

roTs aoici Kap.oTs iraial x*'/'" TrpoaffaXfi. 

pLTi hrjTa SpaarfS ravTO. 7', alrovpai c' kyd/. 

€X^P<i 7^P V '''^I'Ovaa prjrpvia renvois 

ToTs vp6cr0', lxt5^'Jys ovSiv ijinwTipa, 
^schylus calls a certain perilous coast ' a step-mother of ships ' (pirjTpvid 
V€U)V, Prometheus, 7^7)- Cp. Horace's 

* Quid ut noverca me intueris, aut uti 
Petita ferro bellua ? ' — Epodes, v. 9 ; 
Vergil's ' injusta noverca ' (Eclogues, iii. 33) ; ' saevae novercae ' (Georgics, 
ii. 128); Ovid's * sceleratae novercae' (Fasti, iii, 853) ; * terribiles novercae' 
(Metamorphoses, i. 147) ; Plautus' ' apud novercam queri ' = to complain in 
vain (Pseudolus, i. 3. 95) ; Tacitus* ' novercalia odia ' (Annals, xii. 2) ; 
Seneca's (the Elder) ' novercalibus oculis intueri ' (Controversiae, iv. 6), 
&c. In the Romaunt of the Rose, Fortune is described to be ' as a step- 
mother envious.' See also Shakspere, Troilus and Cressida, iii. 2. 201, 
Cymb. i. i. 70, &c. 

27. to, i. e. with regard to, in respect of. We should rather say ' from.' 
uses. This present in this sense is almost obsolete. With regard to the 
preterite, notice how the pronunciation is varied with the sense. In the 
sense ' was wont ' the * s * is sharp ; in the other sense, it is flat. 

39. com/»/«»/o« = constitution. Berners' Froissart, i. chap. 326: 'This 



p. 39.] NOTES, 127 

was a man of feble complexion and sickly, and endured moche payne more 
that any other.* Dryden's Death of Oliver Cromwell : 

• For from all tempers he could service draw ; 

The worth of each with its alloy he knew. 
And, as the confident of nature, saw 

How she complexions did divide and brew.' 
Bacon speaks of ' empiric physicians which commonly have a few pleasing 
receipts, whereupon they are confident and adventurous, but know neither 
the causes of diseases nor the complexions of patients, nor peril of accidents, 
nor the true method of cures.' (Advancement of Learning, i. 2. 3 j see 
Glossary in Aldis Wright's edition.) See Chaucer's Prologue, of the Frank- 
lin, 333 : 

• Of his complexioun he was sangwyn,' &c. ; 
where cowz/)/fx/on = temperament. The modern meaning appears certainly 
in the sixteenth century ; as in Shakspere, see Sonnet xviii. 6, &c. See 
Schmidt's Shakespeare Lexicon s, v. 

Truth is compared, &c. Cp. Psalm Ixxxv. li : • Truth shall spring out 
of the earth ' (' shall flourish out of the earth,' Common Prayer). 

P. 39. I. Assembly. This was the proper title of what answered in some 
degree to the Convocation of the Episcopalians. 

5. There he, who knows not that there be, &c. See The Likeliest Means to 
Remove, &c., close to the end, p. 438 of Prose Works : ' But while Protestants, 
to avoid the due labour of understanding their own religion, are content to 
lodge it in the breast, or rather in the books, of a clergyman, and to 
take it thence by scraps and mammocks, as he dispenses it in his Sunday's 
dole, they will be always learning and never knowing ; always infants ; 
always either his vassals, as lay papists are to their priests, or at odds with 
him, as reformed principles give them some light to be not wholly con- 
formable ; whence infinite disturbances in the state, as they do, must needs 
follow.' 

6. [Explain o/here.] 

professors = Puritans. May speaks of * strict Professors of Religion 
commonly called Puritans.' (History of the Parliament which began in 
1640.) 

7. arrant is said to be derived from A.-S. org, or ^ar^ = wicked, bad; 
cp. Dutch and Germ. org. Arch, is probably cognate. The -ant is probably, 
as Wedgwood suggests, a corruption of an inflectional -en ; cp. Romaunt and 
Roman, Alyaunt and alien, tyrant and Fr. tyran, &c. Also the form may 
have been influenced by some fancied connection o( the word with Lat. 
errans. 

[Explain an implicit faith. '\ 

8. any lay Papist of Loretto = * 2iny one of the fervent, uncompromising 
believers who constitute the secular (i. e. uninitiated) population of such a 
centre of papal superstition as Loretto.' 

Loretto, a town of Central Italy, not far from Ancona, was one ot the 



128 AREOPAGITICA, [P. 39. 

most frequented places of pilgrimage during the Middle Ages. This popu- 
larity it owed to the asserted presence there of the Santa Casa — the very 
house whose walls witnessed the birth of the Virgin herself, the Annun- 
ciation, the Incarnation, and the growth of the Incarnate. This venerable 
fabric had been moved by angels from its original site in Palestine, when 
the Saracens destroyed the temple which the Empress Helena had built over 
it. It rested for three years on the coast of Dalmatia. Then in 1 294 it 
was moved again — to a grove near Loretto. ' After three times changing 
its position, it at length settled down, in 1 295, on the spot it now occupies.* 
See Murray's Handbook of Central Italy and Florence, Stanley's Sinai and 
Palestine, &c. 

10. piddling. In Reformation in England, Milton speaks of 'the ignoble 
hucksterage of pidling tithes,' &c. The word is probably connected with 
petty, Fr. petit, &c. 

11, mysteries. The spelling should be 'misteries;' for the word in this 
sense is derived from the Lat. ministerium. Popular etymology connected 
it with the Gr. nvar-qpiov ; hence the false orthography. See Max Miiller's 
Lectures on the Science of Language, Second Series, p. 254; cp. Chaucer's 
Prologue, 613: 

* In youthe he lerned hadde a good mester ; 
He was a wel good wright, a carpenter.' 
skill = \iQ skilful enough, manage, &c. The verb is more common in 
Elizabethan English as an impersonal, in the sense of • it matters not,' 
• makes no difference ; ' thus Hooker, Ecclesiastical Polity, v. 78 : • Where- 
fore to passe by the name, let them use what dialect they will, whether we 
call it a priesthood, a presbytership, or a ministrie, it shilleth not,' &c. 

13. hear up with, i. e. keep pace with. 

14. What does he therefore but resolvs, &c. We should rather say 're- 
solve,' using the infinitive dependent on ' does.' The former usage is the 
more correct ; for in the latter ^ does ' is in fact used in two different ways — 
(l) as a complete verb, and (2) as an auxiliary. 

22. commendatory. South's Sermons : 'To sooth and flatter such persons 
would be just as if Cicero had spoke commendatories of Anthony, or made 
panegyricks upon Catiline.' 

25. flfmafwa// = dividable (Cudworth), separable (Paradise Lost, xii. 82) : 
• Yet know withal, 
Since thy original lapse, true liberty 
Is lost, which always with right reason dwells 
Twinned, and from her hath no dividual being.* 
Something different is the sense in Paradise Lost, vii. 382 ; the moon 

' Her reign 
With thousand lesser lights dividual holds.' 
J^O. after the malmsey, &c. Breakfast did not become ' a stated meal ' 
till the beginning of the eighteenth century. ' Previously it had been only 
occasionally served in the establishments of the great. Queen Elizabeth 



p. 40.] NOTES, 129 

breakfasted off meat, bread and cheese, and ale ; her morning table was 
sometimes spread sumptuously, but the usual custom among both rich and 
poor was merely to take a morning draught. " My diet," says Cotton, " is 
always one glass as soon as I am dressed, and no more till dinner." At 
Harper's or at the Crown, Pepys drank his morning draught, which was 
usually a glass of buttered ale,' &c. (Our English Home, pp. 188, 189.) 
Both tea and coffee were introduced into England about the middle of 
the seventeenth century, but they did not become common for many a 
long year. > 

the malmsey. Chaucer calls it 'malvesie.' See the Shipman's Tale 14481. 
Ed. Wright : 

• With him brought he a jubbe of Malvesie, 
And eek another ful of wyn vernage 

And volantyn, as ay was his usage.' 
Another rorm is mabnesyne, as in The Squire of Lowe Degre : 
'Ye shal have rumney & mabnesyne. 
Both ypocrasse and vernage wine,' &c. 
The name was derived from Malvasia, 'a town upon the eastern coast of the 
Morea, near the site of the ancient Epidauriis Limera, within a small distance 
from Crete.' (Tyrwhitt.) The Hostess describes Bardolph as ' that arrant 
mabjisey-nose knave.' (2 Henry IV. ii, i.) 
well spicU hruage. Drant's Horace, Sat. ii. 4 : 

• As if in brewinge spyced wines 

Thou shouldst bestow muche paine,' &c. 

31. he uhose morning appetite, &c. See Matthew xxi. 19; Mark xi. 13. 

P. 40. 6. Publicans ^'Lzt. publicani, as in the A. V. of the New Test. 

the (imaging and the poimdaging, &c. Tunnage and poundage, * the 
original of our present Customs duties, consisted, beside some less important 
matters, of a duty of 3s. on each tun of wine imported and of is. in the 
pound on the value of other goods ; aliens generally paid double.' (Annals 
of England.) The student need scarcely be reminded that it was the king's 
levying these duties on his own authority that formed one of the gravest 
dissatisfactions of the Parliaments of Charles I. See Hallam.y' 

8. 'em ( = hem, now superseded by them) is here reflexive, as very 
commonly in EHz. Eng. 

12. wAa/ = what for, why; so Lat. quid, Gr. ri. So Julius Caesar, 
ii. I. 123, 124: 

• What need we any spur but our own cause 
To prick us to redress?' 

So in older English passim, e. g. in Chaucer. 

18. starch is a softened form of stark, stiff, rigid. 

19. stanch is ultimately connected with stagnant, through Old Fr. estancher, 
Low Lat. stancare. Cp. Old English stank zz a stagnant pool. 

24. is at his Hercules pillars in a warm hsnejice, i. e. has reached the 
furthest point of his expectations, has realised his utmost hopes in the 

K 



130 AREOPAGITICA. [P. 40. 

matter of preferment. Hercules pillars = the Straits of Gibraltar (see 
Spenser's Prothalamion 148, and note in Longer English Poems), were for 
many an age the western boundary of the world ; see Pindar's Olympia, iii. 77 ; 
&c. And so the phrase is used by Bacon, and here, in the general sense of 
a term or limit ; cp. ' ultima Thule.' See Adv. of Learning, ed. Wright, 
ii. I. 3 ' For why should a few received authors stand up like Hercules' 
columns, beyond which there should be no sailing or discovering, since we 
have so bright and benign a star as your Majesty to conduct and prosper 
.us?' 

26. to finish his circuit = coudude his studies. Cp. * When I have neither 
yet completed to my mind the full circle of my private studies,' &c. {Reason 
for Church Government, p. 43 of Prose Works). 

an English concordance. ' The first concordance was made under the 
direction of Hugo de St. Charo, who employed as many as 500 monks 
on it.* (Haydn.) Jeremy Taylor speaks of ' the Latin Concordances of 
S. Hierom's Bible published by Stephens.' Cruden's Concordance was pub- 
lished in London in 1737. 

27. a topic folio = * a commonplace book.' Aristotle's Tunoi (as Rhetoric, 
i. 2. 211) = Cicero's Communes loci (De Oratore, iii. 27), whence our phrase, 
though in a slightly altered sense. See Cicero, 1. c. : ' Consequentur etiam 
illi loci qui quanquam proprii causarum et inhaerentes in earum nervis esse 
debent, tamen quia de universa re tractari solent, communes a veteribus 
nominati sunt,' &c. Bacon says a good word for commonplace books, or 
rather for the theory of them, in the Adv. of Learning, ii. 15. I ; * but,' he 
adds, 'this is true that of the methods of commonplaces that I have seen, 
there is none of any sufficient worth : all of them carrying merely the face 
of a school and not of a world, and referring to vulgar matters and pedantical 
divisions, without all life or respect to action.' Milton himself kept one, 
but in no servile style ; see the edition of it issued by the Camden Society. 

28. a sober graduatship = a steady University career. 

a Harmony = a handbook bringing into agreement, or attempting to do 
so, seemingly incongruous Scripture narratives ; a Diatessaron. 

a Catefia = a list or series or • chain ' of authorities. Especially famous 
in its time was the Catena Aurea of Thomas Aquinas. (The word chain is, 
in fact, a corruption of catena.) 

31. sol fa. See above, p. 107, note on gammuth. 

P. 41. 2. charge = duty. 

sermoning. Chaucer has the word in a general sense (Knight's Tale) : 
' I trow ther nedeth litel sermoning 
To maken you assente to this thing.' 
Holinshed's Description of Ireland, chap. 4 : ' You sermon to us of 
dungeon appointed for offenders and miscredents.' 

3. interlinearie = line-beneath-line translations. Jeremy Taylor (Sermon 
iv.) refers to an interlineary translation of the Hebrew Bible, how it renders 
* nechosheth ' by ' exactores.' See the passage, apud Richardson. 



i 



p. 41.] NOTES, 131 

breviaries — abridgments (the Fr. abreger, whence our abridge, is a • cor- 
ruption ' of the Lat. abbreviare), compendiums. Specially, it denoted a concise 
form of the Roman Catholic service-book, containing ' the seven canonical 
hours;' originally called the ' custos.' 

synopses = general views. Synopsis was a common book-title. 

loitering gear = hzy apparatus, slovenly tackle, lifeless stuff. Cp. 'loitering 
books and interlineary translations,' in the Apology for Smectymnuus. Gear 
is the A.-S. geara or gearwa, preparation. It is used in a very general sense 
in Eliz. Eng. ; as Troilus and Cressida, i. i. 6, says Pandarus of Troilus' 
passion for Cressida : 

* Will this gear ne'er be mended?* 
lb. iii. 2. 220; Merchant of Venice, i. I. Iio; ii. 2. 176; Comus, 
167, &c. 

6. our London trading St. Thomas, &c. i. e. our largest and busiest 
marts are as well stocked with sermons as with any other ware whatever. 
This seems to be the meaning of this very difficult passage ; but the details 
of the expression are obscure. St. Thomas may refer to the church of 
St. Thomas Apostle in Knightriders Street in Vintry Ward (see Stow's 
Survey of London, ed. Thoms, p. 92) ; Si. Martin to that of St. Martin le 
Grand (there were other churches of St. Martin, as in the Vintry, not 
rebuilt after the fire, &c). What is meant by St. Hugh I do not know. 
There has never been in London a church dedicated to a saint of that name. 
(The only Church in England so dedicated is said to be at Quethiock in 
Cornwall.) Can St. Hugh possibly denote Lincoln ? Not that Lincoln 
Cathedral is dedicated to him (it is dedicated to the Virgin) ; but because 
his fame was so especially connected with it. See some account of the 
famous Bishop Hugh in Murray's Cathedrals. It is perhaps worth noticing 
that the church and college of St. Thomas Aeon were granted to the 
Mercers. See Milman's St. Paul's, p. 166. Both of the churches of 
St. Thomas and that of St. Martin just mentioned were in the midst of old 
London commerce. And it is to be noted that in the old days commerce 
gathered round churches, churches standing in central positions. * The 
market was held before the church door.' (Knight's London, iv. 212.) 
As for in his vestry, Mr. Lobb suggests that vestry here = clothes-mart ; 
and this is not an impossible sense for Milton to give the word (Pliny xv. 
8. 8 uses vestiarum for a clotheschest, wardrobe), but there seems no other 
instance anywhere of such an use. Nor, on the other hand, can I find any 
other mention of ' vestries,' in the ordinary sense, used for places of sale. 
It is possible that buying and selling went on actually inside the churches, as 
in the Temple at Jerusalem (John ii. 13-17). It is well known that much 
'business' was transacted inside old St. Paul's (see chap. xi. pp. 286-28S of 
Milman's St. Paul's, &c.). But the only mention of actual commerce inside 
a church I have noted is in a Letter of Grosseieste of the thirteenth century ; 
see p. 71 of Mr. Luard's edition of the Epistolae, where is reported a 
regulation of the king, a.d. i 236 (?), ' ut mercatorcs de caetero in nundinis 

K 2 



132 AREOPAGITICA. [P. 41. 

suis apud Northamptoniam nuUas merces exponant venales, nee emant vel 
vendant in ecclesia vel in coemeterio Omnium Sanctorum apud Northamp- 
toniam.* In the Calendar of State Papers for 1637, Domestic Series, ed. 
Bruce, p, 508, there is a notice of cockfighting in a church, at Knotting, 
Bedfordshire. But see Appendix below, p. 153. 

11. impard = protected by paUsadi:ig. Holland speaks of ' those impaVd 
places where youths prepare themselves for the wrestle.' (Plutarch, p. 925.) 
Cp. Reason of Church Government, i. 2 : ' And thus we find here that the 
rules of Church discipline are not only commanded but hedg'd about with 
such a terrible impalement of commands as he that will break through 
wilfully to violate the least of them must hazard the wounding of his con- 
science even unto death.' 

12. his back dore, i. e. the postern. 

15. waking. Watch is orig. a variant ot wake; see p. 31, 1. 5, note. 
20. fend = forfend, defend. The sxvnpiefendo is not found in classical Latin. 
See Percy Folio MS. i. 21 : 

' He that does that deed, sayes Robin, 
He count him for a man ; 
But that while will I draw my sword. 
And fend it, if I can. 
Percy Folio MS. i. 365 : 

' Men called him Sir Gray Steele ; 
I assayed him, and he fended weele.* 
See Jamieson's Sc. Diet. 

24. hold the truth guiltily. Cp. Romans i. 18 : ' For the wrath of God 
is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, 
who hold the truth in unrighteousness.'' 

25. Condemn not, &c. i. e. do not ourselves pronounce our teaching to 
be feeble and vain. 

27. gadding rout. Cp. Samson Agonistes, 674-677: 

' Nor do I name of men the common rout 
That wandering loose about 
Grow up and perish, as the summer fly, 
Heads without name, no more remembered.' 
Gadding = going up and down, roving, &c. Bale speaks of * Gadders, 
pylgrymes, and ydoll seekers' (Apology, fol. 98), and of ' gapynges, 
gaddynges, ydoll sensynges and watter conjurynges, wyth many other fine 
toyes, whych all came from Rome,' &c. See Richardson. Cp. Prov. 
(e. g. Westmoreland), ^gad-about* See ' rout' in Lycidas, 61, and Jerram's 
note. 

33. Christ, &c. See St, John xviii. 19, 20 : ' The high priest then asked 
Jesus of his disciples and of his doctrine. Jesus answered him, I spake 
openly to the world ; I ever taught in the synagogue and in the temple, 
whither the Jews always resort ; and in secret have I said nothing,' &c. 
P. 42. 19. stop, i. e. blockade. 



p. 43-] NOTES. 133 

creeks. Creek radically = a bend, a winding, conn, with erook. 

20. otir richest Marchandize, Truth. ' The kingdom of heaven is like 
unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls ; who, when he had found one 
pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.' (St. 
Matthew xiii. 45, 46.) 

22. Antichristian malice and mystery. The 'Protestants' of Milton's 
time, as indeed many of the less enlightened of our own, had assurance 
enough to identify the Church of Rome with the Babylon of the Revela- 
tion. See Rev, xvii. 3-7. Or mystery here may — craft, fraud; cp. Paradise 
Regained, iii. 249. 

24. sf/^/^ = establish. 

25. the Turk, Sec. Printing was not allowed in Turkey till just a 
century and a half ago. Mr. Lobb states that ' newspapers seem not to have 
made their appearance in Turkey till 1831. The first was a Government 
Gazette, printed in Constantinople, and called the " Tatler of Events." ' 

Alcoran. .4/ = the; coran, = a. reading, or lecture. See Sale's Koran, 
p. 190, note, edit. 1836. Cp. our Bible ( = the Book). 

30. but he who thinks, &c. His Of Reformation in England is a masterly 
protest against any such notion of finality. 
32. prospect = view, aim. 

3.^ the mortalle glasse, &c. G/ass = looking-glass, mirror. So Hamlet iii. 
I J Gascoigne's Steel glass, &c. See l Cor. xiii. 12: ' For now we see 
through [ = by means of] a glass, darkly ; but then face to face.' Cp. 2 Cor. 
iii. 18. See also old romances of chivalry ; also Chaucer's Squire's Tale, &c. 
P. 43. I. beatific t//sion = the sight of God 'face to face:' see Par. 
Lost, iii. 60 : 

* About him all the Sanctities of Heaven 
Stood thick as stars, and from his sight received 
Beatitude past utterance.' 
On which Todd quotes from Sandys' Paraphrase on Job (1637): 
' Againe when all the radiant sons of Light 
Before his throne appear'd, whose only sight 
Beatitude infused.* 

^Comp. 'Him whose happy-making sight,' &c. in lines on Time. Sec Paradise 

>st, i. 684 ; also the splendid passage near the end of Of Reformation in 

[igland, beginning 'Then, amidst the hymns and hallelujahs of Saints:' 

, . 'Where they undoubtedly that by their labours, counsels and prayers, have 

5en earnest for the common good of religion and their country, shall 

Bceive above the inferiour orders ot the blessed the regal addition of 

incipalities, legions, and thrones into their glorious titles, and in super- 

jinence of beatific vision, progressing the dateless and irrevoluble circle of 

lity, shall clasp inseparable hands with joy and bliss, in overmeasure for 

^ever.' (Works, p. 21.) Jeremy Taylor's Sermons, ii. I : 'As the saints and 

angels in their state of beatific vision cannot chuse but love God ; and yet 

the liberty of their choice is not lessen'd ; because the object fills all the 



134 AREOPAGITICA, [P. 43. 

capacity of the will and the understanding,' &c. This * vision,' called also 
' Intuitive,* was distinguished from the ' Abstractive,' and that ' of Com- 
prehension.' 

7. the Egyptian Typhon. This was the brother of Osiris, who was 
guilty of rebellion, murder, and usurpation. After a long search Isis, the 
wife of Osiris, found her husband's mangled remains ; and, helped by her 
son Horus, overthrew Typhon. See Plutarch's Isis and Osiris. This 
Typhon was, according to the later poets at least, the Greek monster of 
the name, called also Typhoeus. See Ovid's Met., v. 318-331, where a 
song which 

' Falsoque in honore Gigantas 
Ponit et extenuat magnorum facta deorum' 
relates how the monster broke from his earth dungeon and drove the gods 
before him into Egypt, where they disguised themselves as best they might. 
See, as Jebb notes, Dollinger's Gentile and Jew, tr. by Darnell, i. 445. 

9. the good Osiris. He had civilised a wild and barbarous people. 

12. far^7v// = care-stricken, anxious. So Luke x. 41, &c. 

16. her Masters second cotnming. See I Thess. iv. 16, 17. 

19. feature. Feature is a corruption of the Latin factura {c^. feat, fact, 
&c.) = shape, fashion, 'make.' See Chaucer's Manciple's Tale: 
' Therto he was the semlieste man 
That is or was, sithen the world bigan; 
What nedith it h\s fetures to descrive?' 
Holland's Ammianus, p. 27: 'A man of goodly presence and well favoured, 
and comely shape znd feature of body, his lims streight and proportionably 
compact,' (Apud Richardson.) See As You Like It, III. iii. 3 ; Par. Lost, 
X. 278: 

• So scented the grim feature, and upturned 
His nostril wide into the murky air.' 
Bacon hz%facture, as Adv. of Learning, ii, 9. 2, ed. Wright: • For Aristotle 
hath very ingeniously and diligently handled ihQ factures of the body but not 
the gestures of the body, which are no less comprehensible by art and of 
greater use and advantage.* Elsewhere he speaks of * the facture or framing 
of the inward parts.' See Trench's Sel. Gloss., s. v. 

22. obsequies = acts of worship. Cp. obsequious, &,c. The word here is 
rather from the Lat. obsequi7im than obsequiae ( = exequiae). So Bale's 
Image, part ii : ' With all faithful ohsequy worshippe hym therefore that 
created heaven and earthe in wonderfuU strength and bewty.' See other 
instances in Richardson. 

24. it smites, &c. Cp. Par. Lost, iii. 380, 381 : 

• Dark with excessive light thy skirts appear, 
Yet dazzle heaven.* 

26. Combust. • When a planet is not above eight degrees and a half 
distant from the sun, either before or after him, it is said to be combust or 
in combustion/ (Harris, apud Johnson.) See Chaucer's Tr. and Or. iii. 96: 



p. 44O NOTES. 135 

* An if ich hadde, O Venus ful of myrthe, 
Aspectes badde of Mars or of Saturne 
Or thow combust,' &c. 
Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy : * Guianerius had a patient could make 
Latin verses when the moon was combust, otherwise illiterate.' See Skeat's 
Chaucer's Astrolabe, Gloss. The only planets * oft combust ' are those 
of inferior magnitude — Venus, Mercury, Vulcan. The last is nearly always 
so ; hence its late discovery. 

29. firmament. Firmamentum is the Vulgate's rendering of the Septua- 
gint CTepicufxa. Trench's Sel. Gloss., s. v. See Par. Lost, iii. 573-579. 

32. unfrockittg. Frock denoted specially the gown worn by ecclesiastics. 
See 'St. Francis /roci ' in The Creed of Piers Plowman 1. 293. (quoted by 
Fairholt, p. 117 of his Costume in England). Cp. old Yr.frocard = z monk. 
See Queen Elizabeth's famous letter to Bishop Cox, when he resisted a cer- 
tain ' spoliation' she proposed: * Proud Prelate, you know what you were 
before I made you what you are. If you do not immediately comply with 
my request, by God I will unfrock you. Elizabeth.' (Student's Hallam's 
England, p. 112, note.) 

P. 44. 3. economicall = relating to house management, domestic, &c. 
The original sense of the word. 

5. Zuinglius. Zwingli was born 1484, died 1 531. His hfe has been 
written by Hess (tr. by Lucy Aikin), and Hottinger (tr. by Porter). 

Calvin. 1 509-1 564. His life has been written by Bungener, Bolsec, Beza, 
Masson, Paul Henry, Audin, Dyer, Strahelin (Hole's Biog. Diet.). 

6. beaconed up to ms = lighted up as a beacon or signal for us. Beacon it 
A.-S. beacen, a sign, nod. Cp. beck, beckon. 

stark, originally = stiffly, rigidly; and so inflexibly, unalterably, com- 
pletely. Of the same root is the Gr. orfpeos. 

12. Syntagma =* CoWection,'' general handbook, summary. See e.g. 
Hallam's account of Gassendi's Syntagma Philosophicum, published 1 658, 
Lit. of Europe, iv. 194. 

15. s^arcAm^ = mvestigating, exploring. Psalm cxxxix. i: *0 Lord, 
thou hast searched me and known me,' &c. 

18. homogeneal, and proportionall. It consists only of truth; and each 
part bears a certain relation to the other parts. One truth does not over- 
power another. 

the golden rule. The Rule of Proportion was so styled ; see e. g. Barnard 
Smith's Arithmetic, p. 196, ed. 1862: 'Almost all questions which arise in 
the common concerns of life so far as they require calculation by numbers, 
might be brought within the scope of the Rule of Three, which enables us 
to find the fourth term in a proportion, and which on account of its greal 
use and extensive application is often called the "Golden Rule."' 

26. discours. See above, p. 103. 

37. the highest is granniiatically coordinate with any point. 

a8. htr» See above, p. 67. 



136 AREOPAGITICA, [P. 44. 

Therefore the studies, &c. Milton ignores the profound change of 
population in this island in the fifth and sixth centuries. He speaks as 
if the English were all one with the Britons. So Cowper in his Boa- 
dicea, &c, 

29. that Writers, &c. In the notes to Drayton's Polyolbion, song i, 
we are told that * Lipsius doubts whether Pythagoras received' the doctrine 
of metempsychosis ' from the Druids, or they from him, because in his 
travels he convers'd as well with Gaulish as Roman philosophers;' and 
referred to 'Physiol. Stoic, bk. iii. dissertation 12.' See this work in Justi 
Lipsii Opera Omnia, 1675, vol. iv. On p. 992, speaking of metempsychosis, 
he says, ' An a Pythagora Druides hauserint nescio ; an potius ipse ab illis ; 
nam auctores habeo Gallos eum audisse et Brachmanas.' As an authority, 
he names in a side-note Clemens Alexandrinus ; in whose Stromata, i. chap. 
15; p. 770, vol. i. of Clem. Alex. Opera, in Migne's Patrol. Curs. Compl. 
we find : o hi UKarwv brjXov ojs affxvtvcou ael tovs fiap^dpovs (vphicerai 
H(fx.vi]p.evos avTov t6 nal TlvOayopov, toL TrXeTcTTa kox yepvaioTara twu 
Soyp.aTQjv €V Pappdpois fxaOovras. The superior antiquity of British to 
Roman learning is insisted upon in the tenth song of the Polyolbion. For 
the Persian wisdom, see Pliny's Nat. Hist., xxx. 4 : ' Britannia hodieque eam 
attonite celebrat tantis caeremoniis ut dedisse Persis videri possit.'' 

31. the school of Pythagoras. There is an old building at Cambridge 
traditionally known, from the sixteenth century at least, as ' Pythagoras' 
school.' According to the opinion Milton here quotes, it was, one may 
suppose, the place where that philosopher received, not gave, instruction. 
It is the building known as Merton Hall (it stands on a piece of ground be- 
longing to Merton College, Oxford), and lately devoted to the service of lady 
students. ' Pythagoras' school, in a garden adjoining St. John's College 
walks, is falsely supposed to have been one of these [inns or hostels], where 
the Croyland monks read lectures ; but is really the infirmary to St. John's 
Hospital. Edward the Fourth took it from King's College here, and gave 
it to Merton College, Oxford; whose property it has ever since been, and is 
sometimes called Merton Hall.' (Wilson's Memorabilia Cantabrigiae.) See 
an account of this 'School' in Grose's Antiquities. See also Mayor's Baker's 
Hist, of St. John's Coll., Camb. 

33. civill. See p. 3, 1. 25, note. 

P. 45. I. Julius Agricola. 37-93 a.d. See his life by his son-in-law 
Tacitus. 

who govern d once here. From 78 to 85 a.d. 

for Caesar. He governed for Vespasian, for Titus (79-81), and for 
Domitian. 

preferred, 8cc. See Tacitus' Agric. 21, of Agricola's high policy: 'Jam 
vero principum filios liberalibus artibus erudire et ingenia Britannorum studiis 
Gallorum anteferre ut qui modo lingua m Romanam abnuebant eloquentiam 
concupiscerent.' See Selden's note to Drayton's Polyolbion, song vi., p. 2iS 
of vol. iv of Chalmers' British Poets, 18 10. 



p. 45-] NOTES, 137 

2. the naturall wits, &c. So Neckain (see Wright's Biog. Lit., AN. 
Period, p. 454) : 

•Ingenium dat e; genius subtile, quod artes 
Mechanicas subdit ingenuasque sibi.' 

3. that the grave and frugal Transilvanian, &c. I do not know of any 
other mention of this fact in general literature ; but its accuracy is, I am 
informed, attested by the Registers of the old Universities. Many 
Transylvanians went abroad in the seventeenth century to study at the 
great universities — at Paris, at Prague, in Holland. That some came 
to England would therefore be probable. See a mention of ' some Mora- 
vian Students passing through London,' in Masson's account of Hartlib's 
Correspondence with Comenius, Life of Milton, iii. 202. Transylvania 
had during the Thirty Years' War made itself conspicuous on the Pro- 
testant side. This was mainly due to the energy and talent of Bethlem- 
Gabor ( = Gabriel Bethiem), Prince from 161 3 to 1629. As Lobb points 
out, there is a letter from Cromwell to his successor; see it in Milton's 
Works amongst the Literae Oliverii Prolectoris. It is full of good-wiil and 
sympathy, and frankly recognises the Prince as co-worker in the great Pro- 
testant cause. • Cum autem vestra in rempublicam Christianam praeclara 
merita laboresque suscepti ad nos usque fama pervenerint, et haec omnia 
certius, et quae amplius rei Christianae vel defendeiidae vel promovendae 
causa in animo habeatis, celsitudo vestra suis Uteris communicata nobii 
amicissime voluerit, ea uberiorem insuper laetandi materiam nobis attulere : 
Deum nempe iis in regionibus excitasse sibi tarn potentem atque egregium 
suae gloriae ac providentiae ministrum ; qui, cum virtute atque armis tantum 
possit, de religione communi Protestantiuin tuenda, cui nunc undique male 
et dictum et factum est, nobiscum una sociare consilia cupiat.' See this 
letter Englished on pp. 606, 607 of Works. A sufficient specimen of friendly 
epistolary intercourse. And it is highly credible, without any such decisive 
authority as the text, that such friendliness existing, and Lutheranism flourish- 
ing so vigorously in the country, natives of it should have visited England, 
which in the early seventeenth century was the leading Protestant power 
of Europe. The glory of Transylvania did not last long. In 1689 it became 
finally subject to Austria. It was however 'governed by its own princes 
until the extinction of their line in 1 71 3, when it was incorporated with 
Hungary. Maria Theresa erected it into a grand principality in 1765. 
(Pop. Encycl.) 

5. the mountanous borders of Russia. Strictly, the S.E. part of the kingdom 
of Poland and a piece of Moldavia lay between Transylvania and Russia. 
The mountains referred to are ollsets of the Carpalhi;itis. It may be noticed 
that Hartlib, to whom in the year the Areopagitica was written he dedicated 
his Tractate on Education, was of a Polish family. See Dircks' Memoir of 
Hartlib; also Masson's Life of Milton, iii. 193 et seq. 

6. the Hercynian wildernes = llercyn'n Silva, or Hercynius Saltus {VYrny 
and Tacitus), or Hercynium jugum (Pliny). • Under this general name 



138 AREOPAGITICA, [P. 45. 

Caesar appears to have included all the mountains and forests in the 
south and centre of Germany, the Black Forest, Odenwald, Thiiringerwald, 
the Harz, the Erzgebirge, the Riesengebirge, &c. As the Romans became 
better acquainted with Germany, the name was confined to narrower limits. 
Pliny and Tacitus use it to indicate the range of mountains between the 
Thiiringerwald and the Carpathian Mountains. The name is still preserved 
in the modern Harz and Erz.' (Smith's Class. Diet.) See Caesar's De B. G., 
vi. 24, et seq. ; Tacitus, Germ., 30, &c. The name Transylvania = the 
country beyond the forest, i. e. beyond what are called the ' Carpathian 
forests.' The Hungarian name, Erdely, signifies the ' mountainous forest.' 

7. their stayed men. Cp. Thucydides' oi vvv Iri vvres fxaKiara iv rp 
KadeaTTjKviq. -qXiKia (ii. 36) ; Cicero's ' Conslans aetas.' 

8. that which is above all this, &c. Cp. Samson Agonistes, 1 718-20. 

10. propending. Shakspere, Tr. and Cr. ii. 2. 190: 

' My spritely brethren, I propend to you 
In resolution to keep Helen still.' 

11. Why else. Sec. See Of Reformation in England. In one passage (p. 3, 
Milton's Works) he speaks of England ' having had this grace and honour 
from God, to be the first that should set up a standard for the recovery of 
lost truth, and blow the first evangelic trumpet to the nations, holding up, 
as from a hill, the new lamp of saving light to all Christendom,' &c. 

12. as out of Sion, &c. See Joel ii. i : • Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, 
and sound an alarm in my holy mountain,' &c. 

14. and had it not been, &c. See Of Reformation in England: '. . . 
although indeed our Wickliffe's preaching, at which all the succeeding 
Reformers more eflfectually lighted their tapers, was to his countrymen but 
a short blaze, soon damped and stifled by the pope and prelates for six or 
seven kings' reigns.' 

16. to suppresse hiin as a schismatic and innovator. Cp. Jeremy Taylor's 
Liberty of Prophesying : ' . . . the names of heretic and schismatic which 
they [the Roman Catholics] with infinite pertinacity fasten upon all that 
disagree with them.' 

17. innovator. See Bacon's Essays, 'On Innovations.' 

Husse. See a list of biographies of him in Hole's Biog. Diet. ; see also 
Milman's Latin Christ., viii. chap. 9. 

Jerom, i. e, Jerome of Prague. See Milman. 

18. Lnther. See a list of lives of Luther in Hole. Michelet has 'col- 
lected and arranged' ' the Life of Luther by himself (tr. by Hazlitt, 1846). 
See also Stephen's Essays in Eccl. Biog., d propos of D'Aubigne's Hist, of the 
Reformation. 

27. ev'n to the reformation of Reformation it self. See Of Reformation 
in England, passim. 

32. a City of refuge. See Numbers xxxv. 9-15. 

33. the mansion house. * When the king had given to any of them two 
thousand acres of land, this party purposing in this place to make a dwelling 



p. 47.] NOTES. 139 

or, as the old word is, his mansion-house or his manor-house, did devise how 
he might make his land a complete habitation to supply him with all manner 
of necessaries.* (Bacon's Use of Law, apud Richardson.) 

P. 46. 3. the plates and instruments, Sec, i. e. defensive and offensive 
armour. P/a/es = breast-plates, almost the only defensive armour still worn 
in Milton's time. 

14. a Nation of Prophets. See Numbers xi. 29. 

We reck'n more then five months, &c. Cp. John iv. 35. The Areopagitica 
was published in November, 1644. Perhaps 'the harvest* means the suc- 
cesses to be achieved, as was hoped, by the new modelled army in the cam- 
paign of 1645. 

19. opinion. This word has very diverse senses in Eliz, Eng. ; hear e. g. 
Gratiano on 'this fool gudgeon, this opinion,'' in M. of Veu., i. 1. 86-102. 

20. /a«/asric = purely fanciful; as fantastical in Macbeth, i. 3. 139. 
of = in connection with, about, over. 

27. a little forbearance of one another. See Ephes. iv. 3, and Col. iii. 13. 
31. free consciences. See On the New Forcers of Conscience under the 
Long Parliament : 

' Dare ye for this adjure the civil sword 
To force our consciences that Christ set free?' 
And the sonnet To the Lord General Cromwell : 

' Help us to save free conscience from the paw 
Of hireling wolves, whose gospel is their maw.' 
P. 47. 3. extended, i.e. advanced, expanded. 

4. he would cry out as Pirrhus did. See, after the battle of Heraclea, 
(280 B.C.). Florus' version is — Pyrrhus of course would speak Greek — *0 
quam facile erat orbis imperium occupare aut mihi Romanis militibus aut me 
rege Romanis.' (i. 18. 17.) 

5. Pirrhus. 318-272 b.c. 'The fierce Epirot* of the Sonnet to Sir 
Henry Vane the younger. See Dickson's Mommsen, i. bk. ii. chap. 7. 

6. £piVo/s = *H7rfi/)a;Tm,Epiriis-men. Strictly, ^n-o/)os = mainland. Epirot 
sometimes = Asiatic, as Isocrates, 68 A. 

7. despair. See the note on scrupl'd, p. 10, 1. 4. 
10. as if, while the Temple, &c. See I Kings v, vi. 
building. See note on explaining, p. 22, 1. 16. 

12. a sort of irrationall men. See M. of Ven., i. I. 8S. 

20. brotherly dissimilitudes. Cp. the use of the Gr. d5(\({)us frequent in 
Plato. See above, p. 67. So Latin geminus and gemellus, as Horace, Sa- 
tires, ii. 3. 244 : 

•Par nobile fratrum, 
Nequitia nugis pravorum ct amore gemellum.' 

26. wherein Moses, &c. See Numbers xi. 24-30, especially 29: *And 
Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake ? Would God that all the 
Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon 
them." 



140 AREOPAGITICA, [P. 47. 

31. as Jos.hia then was. See 1. c. 28. 

33. will undoe us, &c. He adopts the ' direct oration.* 

P. 48. 2. anougk. See above, p. 81. 

6. ma«/p/es = companies. A technical term in the Roman army. The 
«ize of it varied at different times. In the fourth century, B.C., it consisted 
of sixty privates, two centurions, and a standard-bearer. Strictly, the word 
is supposed to mean a number of men serving under the same ensign, 
maniphts signifying originally 'a handful' or wisp of hay, straw, fern, or the 
like which, primitively, did duty as a standard. 

7. brigade. ^Brigade venu au seizieme siecle de I'ltal. brigata (division 
d'armc^e).' (Brachet.) The stem is said to be Low Latin 6r/g-a = strife, 
which is probably of Celtic origin. Cognate are brigand, brigandine, 
brigantine. 

13. when a City, &c. See in Knight's Pop. Hist, of Eng., iii. 498, 
second edition, ' a Plan of the Fortifications and City of London.' There 
were forts from Wliitechapel Road to Hyde Park Corner, and on the 
other side of the river from Vauxhall to ' near the Lock Hospital in Kent 
Street.' The order for this fortifying was issued by the Parliament in Sep- 
tember or October, 1642. ' The population, one and all, men, women, and 
children, turned out day by day to dig ditches, and carry stones for their 
bulwarks.' (Knight.) See May's History of the Parliament. On Novem- 
ber 12 the Royalists occupied Brentford; on the 13th they advanced to 
Turnham Green, when, faced by Essex, they fell back without fighting to 
Colnbrook and so through Reading to Oxford. It must have been in this 
November that Milton wrote his sonnet 'When the assault was intended 
[ = threatened — a Latinism] to the City* — a piece of pure poetry, his imagi- 
nation excited by the thought of the poet's power, and how in the old days 
it had given protection in the midst of wreck and ruin. 

1 4. inrodes (our mroacfs) = in-ridings, 'raids.' 

15. defiance. Drayton's Polyolbion : 

' And calling unto him a herald, quoth he, fly 
To th' Earl of Le'ster's tents, and publickly proclaim 
Defiance to his face and to the Montfort's name.' 
I Sam. xvii. 10: 'And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this 
day; give me a man, that we may fight together.' Shaksp. Hen. V. iii. 
5. 37. 

20. shoidd be disputing, &c. It was about the time Milton wrote that 
certain eminent men of science were beginning to hold those meetings 
which eventuated in the formation of the Royal Society. 

21. ev'n to a rarity, and admiration, i.e. with a degrbe of acuteness 
altogether rare and admirable. 

25. derives it se//= flows on, proceeds, 

28. who, when Rome, &c. See Livy, xxvi. ii: ' Minuere etiam spem 
ejus [Hannibal's hope of taking Rome] et aliae, parva magnaque, res : magna 
ilia, quod quum ipse ad moenia urbis Romae armatus sederet, milites sub 



p. 49.] NOTES, 141 

vexilHs in supplementum Hispaniae profectos audivit ; parva autem, quod 
per eos dies eum forte agrum, in quo ipse castra haberet, venisse nihil ob id 
demimito pretio, cognitum ex quodam captivo est. Id vero adeo superbum 
atque indignum visum ejus soli, quod ipse bello captum possideret haberetque, 
inventum Romae emptorem ; ut extemplo vocato praecoue, taberuas argen- 
tarias quae circum forum Romanum tunc essent, jusserit venire/ 
xuhen Rome, &c. B.C. 211. 

30. at no cheap rate. See Livy's 'nihil ob id deminuto pretio.* 

31. regiment = iha.t part of the army that was especially under his com- 
mand. Spenser uses the word for ' lesser kingdom,' Faerie Queene, ii. 9. 59. 

32. happy successe. See note above, p. 61. 

P. 49. I. not only to, &c. ; i.e. not only as far as, not only as touching, 
&c. Cp. * ev'n to the ballatry,* &c. p. 24. 

2, /)er/es/ = sprightliest, proudest, highest. See Chaucer's Reeve's Tale: 
' And she was proud and pert as any pie.' 
Shakspere, Troilus and Cressida, iv. 5. 219 : 

'For yonder walls that pertly front your town,' &c. 
Perhaps perk is the same word. (Comp. wait and wake, mate and make, cate 
and cake.) Spenser has ' perke as a peacock,' Shepheardes Calender, ii. 8. 
Some say the word is of Welsh origin — *pert, smart, spruce, pert' (Spurrell) ; 
but it is a native Welsh word, or an importation ? 

5. sprightly up. Sprightly is used adverbially here. l7/> = excited. 
10. casting off the old and wrincVd skin, &c. Cp. Shakspere, Henry V, 
iv. I. 20: 

* And when the mind is quicken'd, out of doubt, 
The organs, though defunct and dead before, 
Break up their drowsy grave and newly move. 
With casted slough and fresh legerity.' 
Ii. wax young again. Cp. Dryden's Vergil's Georgics, iii: 
' When he, renew'd in all the speckled pride 
Of pompous youth, has cast his slough aside, 
And in his summer livery rolls along 
Erect, and brandishing his forky tongue,' &c. 
Vergil's words are (437, 438) : 

' Qnum positis novus exuviis nitidusque juventa 
Volvitur.' 

14. methinks — n\estcms, it seems to me ('them seem'd,' Spenser, Protha- 
lamion, 60). Thinks in this compound is from the A.-S. thincan, to seem, 
a quite distinct verb from thencan, to think. Comp. Germ, denken, and 
dilnken. 

15. like a strong man, &c. He is thinking of the Samson, long years 
after to be the hero of his noble drama. See Judges xvi. 13, 14. 

16. her invincible locks. See in the gorgeous allegorising of the story of 
Samson near the close of The Reason of Church Government : 'his illustrious 
and sunny locks, the laws, waving and curling about his god-like shoulder! ; 



14^ AREOPAGITICA. [P. 49. 

. . . those bright and weighty tresses of his laws and just prerogatives 
which were his ornament and strength ; ... his puissant hair, the golden 
beams of law and right.' 

17. mtiing, literally = renewing by moulting. Commonly mne or mew = 
simply, ' to moult,* specially of hawks ; strictly, to change, Fr. muer, Lat. 
mutare. Thus Bacon's Essays, Of Kingdomes and Estates : * Whatsoever 
estate or prince doth rest upon them [mercenary forces], he may spread his 
feathers for a time, but he will mew them soon after,' &c. Mews meant 
originally places where falcons cast their coats ; then generally places for 
keeping them ; and then = stables. 

21. noise here in a concrete sense. So 'Sneak's noise,' 2 Henry IV, 
ii. 4. 12, See Nares. 

flocking birds, i.e. birds that dare not essay solitary and independent 
flights, but hover about in companies ; not olojvoi = lone-flying birds. {Olojvos 
= the eagle, Homer, Iliad, xxiv. 292, &c.) 

23. gabble. See Shakspere, All's Well that Ends Well, iv. i. 22 : 'Choughs' 
language, gabble enough, and good enough ' of the lingo Parolles is to be 
deceived with. 

24. a year. He is thinking of the almanack-makers and their prophecies 
Prognosticate was specially used of astrologers and ahiianack-makers ; as in 
the old song. When the King enjoys his own again : 

• What Booker can prognosticate, 
Considering now the kingdom's state?* 
Booker was an almanack-maker of the day. See Percy's MS. Folio, ed. 
Hales and Furnivall, ii. 24. 

28. ingrossers. See above, p. 83. 

30. bushel. The word is in fact box with a diminutival suffix. 

P. 50. 4. your own mild, &c. Even Hume admires ardently the early 
career of the Long Parliament ; see History of England, chap. 54. Hallam, 
who considers that in the end it 'subverted the constitution,' speaks of 
'those admirable provisions by which' in the beginning 'this Parliament 
restored and consolidated the shattered fabric' See Constitutional History 
of England, chap. ix. 

6. /)«rcAas/ = procured. So commonly in Old English. The radical 
meaning is ' to chase or seek for.* Fr. pourchasser (pour-chasser). See 
Chaucer's Prologue, 256: 

' His purchace was ful bettur than his rente.' 

8. the influence of heavn. The word influence was specially used of 
certain occult streams of power believed to emanate from the heavenly 
bodies. See 'all the skiey influences,' Measure for Measure, iii. I. 9; 
'planetary influence' King Lear, i. 2. 135 ; 'the moist star upon whose 
influence Neptune's empire stands,' Hamlet i. i. 118; 'the sacred influence 
of light,' Paradise Lost, ii. 1034, &c. See Trench's Study of Words. 

23. an abrogated and mercilesse law, &c. ' From the most remote ages 
the power of a Roman father over his. children, including those by adoption 



p. 50.] ' NOTES, 143 

as well as by blood, was unlimited, A father might, without violating any 
law, scourge or imprison his son, or sell him for a slave, or put him to death, 
even after that son had risen to the highest honours in ths state. This 
jurisdiction was not merely nominal; but in early times was not unfrequently 
exercised to its full extent, and was confirmed by the laws of the XII Tables.' 
This 'jus vitae et necis' by degrees 'fell into desuetude; and long before 
the close of the republic the execution of a son by order of his father, 
although not forbidden by any positive statute, was regarded as something 
strange and, unless under extraordinary circumstances, monstrous. But the 
right continued to exist in theory, if not in practice, for three centuries after 
the establishment of the empire, and was not formally abrogated till a.d. 318.' 
Ramsay's Roman Antiquities, * The Patria Potestas.' 

25. sticke closest. Prov. xviii. 24. Cp. adhere, Lat. adhaerere. 

26. for cote and conduct, &c. ; i.e. to resist illegal taxation for the 
clothing and conveyance of troops, and also for the provision of a navy. 
See Butler's Characters, The Herald : * He will join as many shields together 
as would make a Roman testudo or Macedonian phalanx, to fortify the 
nobility of a new made lord that will pay for the impresting of them, and 
allow him Coat and conduct money.' 

His four nobles ofDanegeli; i.e. ship-money. A very odd periphrasis. Why 
'four nobles' it is not easy to see. The noble, first struck in Edward Ill's 
reign, and current till that of Elizabeth, was worth 6s. Sd. (see the joke, 
Shakspere, I Henry IV, ii. 4. 317 and 327; the royal=ios.)* Twenty 
shillings, i. e. three nobles, was the amount for which Hampden was sued. 
See Hallam's Const. Hist. i. 436. ' Lord Nugent,' says Hallam in a note, 
* has published a facsimile of the return made by the assessors of ship-money 
for the parish of Great Kimble, wherein Mr, Hampden is set down for 31s. 6d., 
and is returned with many others as refusing to pay. Memoir of Hampden 
and his Times, vol. i. p. 230. But the suit in the Exchequer was not 
on account of this demand, but for 20s. as stated in the text for property 
situate in the parish of Stoke Mandevile.* Danegelt = Dane-money, was the 
name of an ancient land-tax levied to provide means for bribing off or 
for repelling the Danes. It was ' first raised by Ethelred II in 991, and again 
in 1003, &c. . . was suppressed by Edward the Confessor in 1 05 1, revived by 
William the Conqueror 1068, and formed part of the revenue of the Crown, 
until abolished by Stephen 1 1 36. Every hide of land . . was taxed at first 
14-., afterwards as much as 7s.' (Haydn's Diet, of Dates.) Upon this highly 
dubious precedent the King's advisers greatly relied in their advocacy and 
exaction of ship-money. See St. John's speech and the Solicitor-General'i 
(Sir Edward Littleton) reply at Hampden's trial; State Trials, iii. 825-1316, 
ed. 1809. The first suggester of the odious tax was Noy. To Finch is due 
the credit of its extension from the sea-ports to the whole kingdom. See 
Hallam, i. 434, ct seq.; Gardiner's Personal Government of Charles I, ii. 
66, &c. 

37. although I dispraise not, &c. Milton never actually fought in the 



144 AREOPAGITICA, [p. 50. 

Parliamentary ranks. So much might be suspected from the passage in the 
text ; but there is also quite direct and decisive evidence on the point. 
Professor Masson in the second volume of his valuable Life of Milton dis- 
cusses the question at length. He finds in the poet's writings such a remark- 
able familiarity with military details as to create a presumption that he had 
seen service ; and, from a moral point of view, he conceives that Milton was 
bound to have served. But he is satisfied by Milton's eighth sonnet that he 
did not serve. He seems to overlook a passage in one of the prose works 
that is as explicit as possible. In the Defensio Secunda Milton defends him- 
self against the possible imputation of cowardice or sloth because he had not 
served. He claims no share, he says, in the glory of those who by their 
most honourable arms had repelled slavery. Far other were the weapons ot 
his warfare. See p. 708 of Works : 'Atqueilli quidem [those who took up 
arms for the laws and religion] Deo perinde confisi, servitutem honestissimis 
armis pepulere ; cujus laudis etsi millam partem mihi vindico, a reprehensione 
tamen vel timiditatis vel ignaviae, siqna inferlur, facile me tueor. Neque 
enim militiae labores et pericula sic defugi, ut non alia ratione et operam 
multo utiliorem nee minore cum periculo meis civibus navarim et animum 
dubiis in rebus neque demissum unquam neque ullius invidiae vel etiam 
mortis plus aequo metuentem praestiterim. Nam cum ab adolescentulo 
humanioribus essem studiis ut qui niaxime deditus et ingenio semper quam 
corpore validior, posthabita castrensi opera, qua me gregarius quilibet ro- 
bustior facile superasset, ad ea me contuli quibus plus potui ; ut parte mei 
meliore ac potiore, si saperem, non deteriore, ad rationes patriae causamque 
banc praestantissimam quantum maxime possem momentum accederem. 
Sic itaque existimabam, si illos Deus res gerere tam praeclaras voluit, esse 
itidem alios a quibus gestas dici pro dignitate atque ornari, et defensam 
armis veritatem ratione etiam (quod unicum est praesidium vere ac proprie 
humanum) defendi voluerit. Unde est ut dum illos invictos acie viros ad- 
miror, de mea interim proviiicia non querar ; immo mihi gralulor et gratias 
insuper largitori munerum caelesti iterum summas agam obtigisse talem ut 
aliis invidenda multo magis quam mihi ullo modo poenitentia videatur.' For 
a translation see p. 920 of Works. 
29. tiller = iTappT](Tid^€a6ai. 

32. uneqnall = Lzt. iniquum. 

33. to a customary acceptance = to what is commonly received. 

P. 51. 2. one of your own honourable number. Robert Greville, Lord 
Brook, adopted son of the ' friend to Sir Philip Sidney * (see the epitaph in 
St. Mary's Church, Warwick), born 1607, shot from Lichfield Cathedral 
tower as he was preparing an assault, March i, i64f. See Clarendon, vi; 
Neal's History of the Puritans, ii. 185; Murray's Western Cathedrals; 
Wood's Ath. Oxon. ii. 433, ed. Bliss, 1 81 5, &c. Also Scott's Marmion, 
vi. 36. 

3. a right noble and pious lord. Sec. He was deeply bewailed, as he had 
been deeply loved and admired. See e. g. England's Losse and Lamentatiott 



p. 53.] NOTES, 145 

occasioned by the death of that Right Honourable Robert Lord Brooke, &c., 
a pamphlet of the time full of enthusiasm and of grief; and also a black- 
bordered fly-sheet in the British Museum containing 'An Elegy upon the 
death of the mirrour of magnanimity the right Honourable Robert Lord 
Brooke,' &c., ' ex opere (praesertim) Henrici Haringtoni.' 

8. He wriling of Episcopacy, &c. The title of this work was, ' A dis- 
course opening the nature of that Episcopacie which is exercised in England. 
Wherein, with all Humility, are represented some Considerations tending to 
the much desired Peace and long expected Reformation of this our Mother 
Church/ 

10. vote = Liit. votum, his earnest wish. 

13. his last testament. Sec. See John xiv. 27. 

16. he there exhorts us, Sec. See sect. ii. 7, 'Of the danger of Schismes 
and sects more fully discuss'd ; the nature and danger of Anabaptisme, Sepa- 
ratisme, and Unlicensed Preaching, The conclusion with an affectionate 
desire of Peace and Union.* Cp. Jeremy Taylor's Liberty of Prophesying, 
passim. 

20. disconformity. In the Tetrachordon he speaks of ' utter unfitness, 
utter disconformity, not reconcileable because not to be amended without a 
miracle.' Barrow has : ' Dissent from his [St. Peter's] opinion or discon- 
formity to his practice.' (Of the Pope's Supremacy, apud Richardson.) 

28. the Temple of Janus, &c. He means it is a time of glorious strife 
and battle. Truth and Falsehood are opposed face to face. Janus's temple 
was, as is well known, opened in time of war, closed in peace. See Livy, 
i. 19, of Numa : 'Mitigandum ferocem populum armorum desuetudine ratus, 
Janum ad infimum Argiletum, indicem pads bellique, fecit : apertus ut in 
armis esse civitatem, clausus pacatos circa omnes populos significaret.' And 
the historian goes on to say it had been twice closed since Numa's day. See 
Aeneid, vii. 601-623, &c. 'In all probability' the edifice 'served originally 
as a gate to the citadel [arched passages were called Jani], and may be iden- 
tified with the Porta Janualis named by Varro.' (Ramsay's Rom. Antiq.) 

29. with his two contr over sal faces. He was styled * Bifrons.' See Aeneid, 
vii. 180; xii. 198, &c. See Ovid, Fasti, i. 25: 

* Tum sacer, ancipiti mirandus imagine, Janus 
Bina repens oculis obtulit ora meis,' &c. 
Possibly some 'pun' is intended on 'controversal' and 'controversial.' 

P. 52. 2. her confuting, i.e. confutation by her. See Student's Marsh's 
Lectures, p. 276 : * Youre feer ' = the fear of you, &c. So * thy wide alarmes,' 
in Spenser's Prothalamion 158. 

6. beyond the discipline of Geneva, &c. ; i. e. beyond what seems to the 
Presbyterians so adequate and perfect. 

discipline = the doctrines, the ' school,' &c. Lat. disciplina, as Cicero, 
^ Academica, ii. 3, &c. 

7. fabric' t. We should s&y fabricated. 
11* to seek for wisdom, See. See Matt. xiii. 44. 

L 



14^ AREOPAGITICA. [P. 52. 

16. in all their equipage; i. e. in all their proper equipment, in their full 
form and state. See Sonnet to Sir Henry Vane the Younger, 1. 9. The 
radical notion probably is ' with their full rigging,' equip being ultiinately 
connected with ship, skip, the e being a mere vocal prefix. See Brachet. 

17. hattell = zxmy. Cp. battalion. So frequently in older English. Mac- 
beth, V. 6. 2 : 

' You, worthy uncle. 
Shall with my cousin, your right noble son. 
Lead our first battle.' 
2 Henry IV, ir. i. 154: 

' Our battle is more full of names than yours.* 
19. offers him the advantage of wind and sun. Cp. Theocritus, xx. 83, 
84, ed. Ahrens, of the fight between Amukos and Poludeukes (Pollux) : 
ivOa TtoXvs a(picn fioxOos kireiyofji4voi(Xiv krvx'^i], 
oTrnorfpos Kara, vaira \a.0oi (pdos 7)(Xioio. 
(WUstemann and Paley read Xa^-Q.) Love's Labour 's Lc'st, iv. 3, 366-369, 
of the metaphorical combat with 'these girls of France:' 

'King. Saint Cupid, then! and, soldiers, to the field I 
Biron, Advance our standards, and upon them, lords ; 

Pell-mell, down with them ! but be first advised, 
In conflict that you get the sun of them.' 
Where Malone notes that our having the sun at our back and in the enemy's 
face was a great advantage to us at Agincourt. In the fights in the old 
Romances of Chivalry there is often much striving to get this advantage. 
See in More's Edw. V, and in Rich. Ill, how Richmond at Bosworth ' had the 
sun in his back, and it shone full in the faces of his enemies.' See also Lay 
of the Last Minstrel, v. 18; the Talisman, &c. 

21. by dint of argument ; i.e. by blows dealt or inflicted by argument, 
by arguments driven home, &c. Cp. ' dyfit of launce,' Robert of Brunne ; 
'dint of sword,' Faerie Queene, vi. 6. I, and 2 Henry IV, iv. I. 128, 
&c. So, metaphorically, as in the text, * the dint of pity,' Julius Caesar, 
iii. 2. 198, &c. 

22. to keep a narrow bridge. Sec. It is very common in the Romances of 
Chivalry for a bridge to be occupied by some knight, with whom every one 
who passes over must fight, if he will not do obeisance or pay tribute. See 
Faerie Queene, v. 2. 4, where says the dwarf (' Florimelis owne dwarfe*): 

' But in my way a little here beyond 
A cursed cruell Sarazin doth wonne. 
That keepes a bridges passage by strong bond, 
' And many errant knights hath there fordonne; 
That makes all men for feare that passage for to shonne.* 
In stanzas 11-19 ^^ described the fight between Artegall and this savage 
toll-keeper. Warton refers to Ariosto, xxix. 35 ; also to La Morte 
d* Arthur. 

28. those are the shifts, &c. ' For these winding and crooked courses are 



p. 53.] NOTES 147 

the goings of the serpent ; which goeth basely upon the belly and not upon 
the feet.' Bacon's Essays, Of Truth, 

31. old Proteus. See Georgics, iv. 387-452, especially 
' Est in Carpathio Neptuni gurgite vates 
Caeru'eus Proteus, &c. 

. novit namque omnia vates. 
Quae sint, quae fuerint, quae mox ventura trahantur. 



Hie tibi, nate, prius vinclis capiendus ut omnein 
Expediat morbi causam, eventusque secundet.' 
Ovid, Fasti, i. 367-374, where that same story of Aristaeus is told; 
especially 370: 

' Impediant geminas vincula firma manus.' 
'That water-sprites have the gift of prophecy has been the belief of many 
nations.' See Thorpe's Northern Mythology, i. ■246. 

33. she turns herself into all shapes except her own. So Proteus. See 
Ovid, 1. c. : 

Mile suam faciem transformis adulterat arte;' 
and Vergil : 

' Ille suae contra non iinmemor artis 
Omnia transformat sese in miracula rerum, 
Ignemque, horribilemque feram, fluviumque liquentem. 
Also Romaiint of the Rose, 6322, where says False Seniblant : 
' For Protheus that cowde him chauiige 
In every shape homely and straunge, 
Cowde nevere sich gile ne tresoune 
As I,'&c. 
P. 53. 2. as Micainh, Sec. See l Kings xxii. I-28, especially 13-15 : 
•And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spake unto him, saying. 
Behold now, the words of the prophets declare good unto the king with one 
mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and 
speak that which is good. And Micaiah said, As the Lord livcth, what the 
Lord saith unto me, that will I speak. So he came to the king. And the 
king said unto him, Micaiah. shall we go against RaInotll-^ilead to battle, 
or shall we forbear? And he answered him. Go, and j'rosper; for the Lord 
shall deliver it into the hand of the king.* An answer sadly at variance with 
the imminent fact, which, happily recovering his integrity, he proceeds to 
predict. See also 2 Chron. xviii. 

5. thi?igs indifferent. Cp. the Stoic rd aZiCKpopa, res mediae, indifferentes. 
See Cicero, De Finibus, iii. 16. 53. 

7. those ordinances, &c. Colossians ii. 14 : * Blotting out the handwriting 
of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out 
of the way, nailing it to his cross.' 
9. purchase. See above, p. 50, 1. 6. 
Patd io often, &c., e.g. Galatians v. i. 
L a 



148 AREOPAGITICA. [P. 53. 

10. his doctrine is, &c. Romnns xiv. 5-9. 

17. ^he ghost of a linnen decency, &c. The thing itself had been sup- 
pressed, but the spirit of it still hovered around. 

a linnen decency = ihe shallow decorum of surplices and vestments, a super- 
ficial respectability, a mere external orderliness, Milton was no admirer of 
ecclesiastical 'spiiisiry,' as he calls it, — of • superstitious copes and flaminical 
vestures.' See Reason of Church Government, ii. 2, p. 46 of Works; Anim- 
adversions, Works, p. 72, &c. 

27. stark. See above, p. 43, 1. 18. 

28. wood and hay atid stubble. See i Cor. iii. 12. 

30. subdichototnies = mmox divisions. AixoTo/jiia is used by Aristotle; 
SixoTo/jiiaj by Aristotle and Plato (Politicus, 303 E.). 

P. 54. I. to sever the wheat, &c. Matthew xiii. 24-30, especially 29. 

2. frie. Fry properly = the spawn of fish. It is common in a general 
sense, often with a notion of contempt. Thus, 'What a./ry of fools is here,' 
in Beaumont and Fletcher's Coronation, i. i ; 'young fry of treachery,' Mac- 
beth, iv. 284, &c. 

the Angels Ministery. See Matthew xiii. 37-43. 

6. / mean not tolerated Popery, &c. See Jeremy Taylor's Liberty of 
Prophesying, chap, xx.. How far the Religion of the Church of Rome 
is Tolerable : • If we consider their doctrines in relation to government and 
public societies of men, then, if they prove faulty, they are so much the 
more intolerable by how much the consequents are of greater danger and 
malice. Such doctrines as these — the pope may dispense with all oaths 
taken to God or man ; he may absolve subjects from their allegiance to their 
natural prince ; faith is not to be kept with heretics ; heretical princes may 
be slain by their subjects — these propositions are so depressed and do so 
immediately communicate with matter and the interests of men that they 
are of the same" consideration with matters of fact, and are to be handled 
accordingly,' &c. See also Locke, On Toleration, 1st Letter: 'That Church 
can have no right to be tolerated by the magistrate which is constituted on 
such a bottom that all those who enter into it do thereby ipso facto deliver 
themselves up to the protection and service of another prince,' &c. For 
further exhibition of Milton's views, see A Treatise of Civil Power in Eccle- 
siastical Causes, p. 417 of Works, and Of True Religion, Heresy, Schism and 
Toleration, p. 564 : ' Let us now inquire whether popery be tolerable or 
no,' &c. See Dean Nowell's views a century before, in Milman's St. Paul's. 

PP- 303' 304- 

9. extirpat. Cp. frustrat, p. 27, 1. 17. 

II. that also which is impious, &c. See Locke, On Toleration, 1st Let- 
ter : • Those are not to be tolerated who deny the being of God,' &c. 

17. the unity of Spirit, &c. See Ephesians iv. 3. 

19. would write. Would in this use is virtually a present tense. 

22. bejesuited. In his treatise On Divorce he has belawgiven (* whom 
they do not deny to have belawgivn his own sacred people with this very 



p. 55.] NOTES, 149 

allowance.') Cp. he-Jinave, befriend, bejade (Animadversions) ; be-dwarf 
(Donne), befool (Gower), beniartyr (Fuller), &c, jBe- = by; see Earle's 
Philol. § 559. 

29. evhi as the per&on, &c. It was said of St. Paul that ' his bodily 
presence ' was • weak ' (2 Cor. x. 10.). Cp. Plutarch, Agesilaos, ch. xxxvi : 
(TtiX Z\ KaTiirKfvaav (Is tj]v Aiy vmov k.t\.= ' Upon his arrival in Egypt 
all the great officers of the kingdom came immediately to pay their court 
to him. Indeed, the name and character of Agesilaus had raised great 
expectations in the Egyptians in general, and they crowded to the shore to 
get a sight of him ; but when they beheld no pomp or grandeur of appear- 
ance, and saw only a little old man, and in as mean attire, seated on the 
grass by the sea-side, they could not help regarding the thing in a ridiculous 
light, and observing that this was the very thing represented in the fable, 
"The mountain had brought forth a mouse.'" Aeniilius Probus's Life of 
Agesilaus (commonly assigned to Cornelius Nepos), chap, viii, : ' Atque hie 
tantus vir ut naturam fautricem habuerat in tribuendis animi virtutibus, sic 
maleficam nactus est in corpore iingendo. Nam et statura fuit humili et 
corpore exiguo et claudus altero pede. Quae res etiam nonnullam afferebat 
deformitatem ; atque ignoti, faciem ejus cum intuerentur, contemnebant ; 
qui autem virtutes noverant, non poterant admirari satis.' See Bacon's 
Essays, Of Deformity : • And therefore let it not be marvelled, if sometimes 
they [deformed persons] prove excellent persons ; as was Agesilaus, Zanger 
the Sonne of Solyman, iEsope, Gasca President of Peru ; and Socrates may 
goe likewise amongst them ; with others.' 

30. to see to= to look towards or on. So Comus, 620; Joshua xxii. lo. 

P. 55. 3. when God shakes a Kingdome, &c. Cp. Joel iii. 16; Haggai 
ii. 6, 7. 

13. his beam. Par. Lost, iii. 2. 

18. to set places. Cp. Par. Lost, xi. 836-838 : 

' . . . that God attributes to place 
No sanctity, if none be thither brought 
By men who there frequent, or therein dwell.' 

19. outward callings of men, i.e. 'priests.' See Of Reformation in 
England. 

30. the old Convocation hoi4se = tht Chapter-house at Westminster. Till 
Wolsey's time Convocation met in St. Paul's. See Milmaii's St. Paul's, 
p. 289. Convocation was first summoned by writ in i 295. Its power was 
circumscribed by Henry VIII, but by no means destroyed. See H.illam'$ 
Constit. Hist. chap. xvi. of the Student's edition. The Convocations 
of 1603 and of 1640 had caused great irritation by an ill-timed deluded 
effort to impose certain regulations on the country at large. 

21. the Chappell at Westminster. The Assembly of Divines met in 
Henry VII's Chapel, Westminster. Their first meeting was held on Sunday, 
July I, 1643. See Short's History of the Church of England, § 585. 

3 2. all the faith, &c. The works of the Assembly consisted of a Direc- 



150 AREOPAGITICA, [P. 55. 

tory for Worship and Ordination, of a Confession of Faith, and two Cate- 
chisms, the larger and the shorter. ' Besides these there is a form of 
presbyterian Church government agreed upon by the Assembly, but not 
authorised.' (Short, § 590.) 

22. canonizd, embodied in canons ; so Kavov'i^civ in ecclesiastical Greek. 
I do not know that the word occurs elsewhere in this sense ; but that is 
no objection to Milton's using it so. For the common sense, canon denoted 
the catalogue of saints and martyrs whose memory was by ecclesiastical law 
preserved in the festivals of the Church; hence canonize — to enroll in this 
catalogue. In Hamlet, i. 4. 47 — 

• hut tell 

Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death, 

Have burst their cerements ' — 
canoniz'd seems to be used loosely for ' that have been buried duly according 
to the rule with all proper rites.' 

24. to supple the least bruise, &c. See Jeremy Taylor's chapter ' Of 
Compliance with disagreeing Persons or weak Consciences in general' in 
his Liberty of Prophesying, 

25. edijie is strictly to build up. 

28. Harry the 7. See Stanley's Memorials of Westminster. 

29. with all his leige tombs about him. Around him then lay the Lady 
Margaret his mother. Queen Elizabeth, her rival of Scotland, King James I 
and his Queen, &c. ; to be joined subsequently by King Charles U, Wil- 
liam HI and Queen Mary, King George H, &c. 

33. that we doe not, &c. = Lat. qtdn, &c. 

P. 56. 4. tasted learning. Cp. Gr. "^iviaOai. So Tennyson, In Ms- 
moriam, Ixxxix : 

• He tasted love with half his mind,' &c. 
See the euphuistic phrase, and Viola's criticism of it, Twelfth Night, iii. I. 
8S-92. 

7. ma«ag-« = take in hand. Fr. menager, Lat. manu agere. 
14. perhaps neither among the Priests, &c. Cp. Luke x. 30-27; Matthew 
V. 20. 

21. the beginning of this Parlament. November 3, 1640. 
24. triple ice. Cp. Horace's ' aes triplex,' Odes, i, 3. 9. 
chmg. If a 'that' has not dropped out of the text, cZm«^ = made 
to cling, attached or fastened on to, gathered. In Par. Lost, x. 512, of 
Satan's metamorphosis, chmg may be either preterite or past participle : 
* His visage drawn he felt to sharp and spare, 
His arms clung to his ribs, his legs entwining 
Each other, till supplanted down he fell,' &c. 

28. the check that Moses, &c. See above, p. 47. 

29. the countermand, &c. See Luke ix. 50. 

30. young John. According to tradition he was the youngest of the 
Apostles. The old Masters often portray him as in the prime of youth ; 



p. 57.] NOTES, 151 

so Hans Memling (or Hemling), Isaac von Melem, Raphael, Dom6nichino, 
&c. See Jameson's Sacred and Legendary Art, vol. i. 157-172. 

31. whom he thoiighl U7ilicenc*t. ' Master, we saw one casting out devils 
in thy name; and we forbad him, because he/ollojveth not with us.' (Luke 
ix. 49.) 

32. our Elders. The vf or d presbyter! an is derived from the Gr. wpeaiSu- 
T6/)0S = * elderly.' 

testy. Literally = ' heady,' from O. Fr. teste; cp. Lat. cerebrosus. 

P. 57. I. lett. The old verb let, to hinder, is of quite distinct origin 
from our common verb let, to permit. It is the A.-S. latian. (The other 
let is the A.-S. IcBtan.) See the Glossary in Skeat's Piers the Plowman, 
Clar, Press ed. ; Shaks. Henry V, v. 2. 65 ; Hamlet, i. 4. 85, &c. ; Exodus 
V. 4; Romans i. 13 ; 2 Thess. ii. 7, &c. ; also Bible Word-Book. 

4. the most Dominican part. Sec. See above, p. 35, I. 29. 

6. it would he no unequall distribution, &c. See Ovid, Art. Am. i. 655 : 
* Neque enim lex aequior ulla 
Quam nccis artifices arte perire sua.' 

13. that Order publisht next before this. If the Order of January 29, 
164^, is meant, that was the Order next but one before this ; for there was 
another passed March 9, 164I. The date of 'this' was June 14, 1643. 
The Order ' made by the Honourable House of Commons Die Sabbati, 
29 Januarii, 1641,' is as follows (see Arber's Reprint, p. 24) : ' It is ordered 
that the Master and Wardens of the Company of Stationers shall be required 
to take especial Order, that the Printers doe neither print, nor reprint any- 
thing without the name and consent of the author. And that if any Printer 
shall notwithstanding print or reprint anything without the consent and 
name of the Author, that he shall then be proceeded against as both Printer 
and Author thereof, and their names to be certified to this House.* 

17. the fire. It was common to order obnoxious books, or what were 
considered so, to be publicly burned. 

the executioner. His function was not only to inflict death, but such minor 
penalties as branding, nose-slitting, ear-severing, &c. Of course all that the 
name means is one who fulfils or carries out the doom pronounced by the 
judge. Langland speaks of ' assisours and executours ' (Piers Plowman). 

19. authentic Spanish policy ^po\'\cy genuinely and really Spanish. Cer- 
tainly the distinction between genuine and authentic drawn by Bishop 
Watson in his Apology for the Bible, 1796, $0 often quoted (e.g. in later 
editions of Paley's View of the Evi(iciices of Christianity, first published 
1794), holds good neither etymologically nor in practice. * A genuine book,* 
he states, ' is that which was written by the person whose name it bears as 
the author of it. An authentic book is th;it uhicli relates matters of fact as 
they really happened.' Authentic is the Gr. avOffriKos, • warranted,' op- 
posed to ddeaTTOTos. (Liddell and Scott.) See Cic«*ro, Ep. ad Att. ix. 14: 
' Atque eum loqul quidani avdtVTiicujs narrabat,' See. lb. x. 9: * Id enim 
avOtvTiKSii nunciabatur,' &c. hiidtvTiKot is the adjective of avdivT7]$, 



IS^ AREOPAGITICA. [P. 58. 

' contracted from avroevrrjs, ' one who does anything with his own hand ; ' 
an actual murderer, a suicide, &c. See Eikonoklastes, chap. 28 : 'It were 
extreme partiality and injustice, the flat denial and overthrow of herself 
[of Justice] to put her own authentic sv/ord into the hand of an unjust and 
wicked man.' See Trench's Select Glossary. 

22. a Star-chamber decree, &c. See a copy of this Decree, 'made the 
eleventh day of July last past, 1637,' '" Arber's Reprint, pp. 7-23. 

Star-chamber. See Hallam, Student's ed., pp. 28-30, 227-230. This 
shameful Court was abolished in 1641, along with that of the High Com- 
mission. There were some who would have revived it in 1661, but happily 
they were unabie. 

25. with Lucifer. See Isaiah xiv. 12. 

29. bind books, &c. ; i.e. ' bind them over,' as we say. 

30. your precedent Order. See above. 

31. those men, &c. ; i.e. the booksellers. 

33. the fraud of some eld pate jilees, 8cc. These tradesmen had feared 
that certain privileges of their own might be encroached upon, should all 
restrictions upon Printing be removed. 

P. 58. 1, monopolizers. See above, p. 33. 

wider pretence of the poor, &c. See the Order : ' And that no person or 
persons shall hereafter print, or cause to be reprinted, any Book or Books 
or part of Book or Books heretofore allowed of and granted to the said 
Company of Stationers for their relief and maintenance of their poore, 
without the licence or consent of the Master, Wardens, or Assistants of the 
said Company,' &c. 

3. the just retaining, &c. He refers to this matter of copyright above, p. 5. 

severall. Several is etymologically connected with separate. See note in 
Longer English Poems on Hymn on the Nativity, 234 : 

' Each fettered ghost slips to his severall grave.' 

5. colours = specious arguments, disguisings or misrepresentations, ex- 
aggerations or extenuations, &c. We still speak of a ' highly coloured 
account,' &c. This use of the word comes to us from the Latin rhetoricians. 
See Quintilian, iv. 2, 28, et seq. &c. Juvenal, vi. 280 : 

' Die aliquem, sodes, hie, Qiiintiliane, colorem* Sec, 
See Chaucer's Squier's Tale, Part ii ; Bacon's Coulers of Good and Evil. 
a fragment, 1597, printed in the Golden Treasury edition of the Essays. 

6. to exercise, &c. — to retain their advantages over other members of the 
bookselling trade. 

12. m«//o-«an/=: anti-Parliamentary, Royalisf, &c. Says the Tory Dr. 
Johnson : • It was a word used of the defenders of the church and monarchy 
by the rebel sectaries in the civil wars.' 

14. these Sophisms and Elenchs of marchandize = these trade considera- 
tions; more strictly, these fallacious arguments urged by the booksellers, 
and their refutations, 

elenchs = 6A«7X"*» Aristotle, Analytica Priora, ii. 20. I. A syllogisir 



p. 58.] NOTE. 153 

by which the adversary is forcerl to contradict himself was specially so 
called; but it is often used in a general sense. See Bacon's Advancement 
of Learning, 11. 14, 5, 6 : * The second method of doctrine [the first is that 
part of logic which is comprehended in the * Analytics '] was introduced for 
expedite use and assurance sake, discovering the more subtile forms of 
sophisms and illaqueations with their redargutions, which is that which 
is termed clenches. For although in the more gross sort of fallacies it 
happeneth (as Seneca maketh the comparison well) as in juggling feats, 
which, though we know not how they are done, yet we know well it is 
not as it seemeth to be ; yet the more subtile sort of them doth not only 
put a man besides his answer, but doth many times abuse his judgement. 
This part concerning elenches is excellently handled by Aristotle in precept, 
but more excellently by Plato in example ; not only in the persons of the 
Sophists, but even in Socrates himself, who, professing to affirm nothing, 
but to infirm that which was affirmed by another, hath exactly expressed 
all the forms of objection, fallace, and redargution,' &c. 

19. what hath bin err'd. A classicism. Cp. Quintilian, vi. 5. 7 : 'Si 
nihil esset erratum,' &c. 

20. in highest authority; i.e. for those in highest authority. 

a plain advertisement = 3. mere calling of your attention to the facts of the 
case, a simple notification, &c. 

21. is a vertue, &c. He concludes, as he began, with a lofty panegyric 
of the Parliament that had done for us such splendid service. 



ADDITIONAL NOTE 

to 11. 4-9, p. 41. 

I THINK I can now throw a little fresh light on this obscure passage, and 
sufficiently explain it, though further illustrations will be heartily welcome, 
if any are forthcoming. 

Milton means to say that sermons are just as much articles of commerce 
as anything else, and to be bought as easily and commonly as such com- 
modities as clothes or lace or boots. To paraphrase more closely: not in 
the Mercery, or in the precincts of St. Martin le Grand, or in shoe- 
makers' shops, are there more ready-made wares of all sorts for sale than 
there are sermons in certain quarters ' ready printed and pil'd up, on every 
text that is not difficult ' ; so that the ' parocliial minister ' or parish priest, who 
is too ignorant or indolent to compose his own discourses, need never fear any 
lack of ' pulpit provision,' having so well stocked a market close at hand. 

5. Our London trading St. Thomas then refers to the Mercery in Cheap- 
side, the place where the mercers had their shops, which wa« close by the 
Mercers* Hall and Chapel. But this chapel was, in fact, the church of the 



154 ADDITIONAL NOTE. 

ancient college or hospital of St. Thomas of Aeon or Acres, which was 
founded in his honour by a sister of Thomas a Becket (to use a familiar 
though inaccurate cognomen) on the site of the house in which he was 
born. After the mercers bought the premises from King Henry VIII, at 
the dissolution of the monasteries, the said building was reopened for divine 
service in accordance with the Reformed ritual, and, as Stow tells us, * was 
called Mercers' Chapel.' But, probably enough, the old name would still 
survive in popular usage; that is, it would still be known as St. Thomas'. 
At all events, the old name would be familiar to Milton, and it would be 
after his manner to employ it. Originally, in the Middle Ages, by ' mercery' 
were meant ' small wares,' or * mixed wares ' ' in contradistinction to the 
larger articles of commerce or the goods of specific branches in manufacture.' 
But gradually the mercers of Cheap extended their dealings, became vendors 
of silks and velvets (temp. Henry VI), and formed a mixed body of mer- 
chants and shopkeepers, leaving the small wares or mercery proper to the 
haberdashers, who 'kept market in adjoining Stalls and Standings' (see 
Herbert's Twelve Great Companies, and Wheatley's Cunningham's London 
Past and Present). On the use of the word vestry, see the note on p. 1 31. 

6. Adde to boot St. Martin. The precincts of St. Martin le Grand, which 
was a collegiate church and sanctuary, became ' a kind of Alsatia * at the 
dissolution of monasteries, its privileges of sanctuary not being suppressed, 
and also a favourite residence of manufacturers of counterfeit ware, of latten 
and copper anicles, of beads, and of lace, 'a sort of copper lace called 
St. Martin's lace.' Cunningham gives some excellent quotations to illustrate 
this local traffic from Westward Ho !, The City Madam, Hudibras, Mrs. 
Behn's Lucky Chance ; and more might be gathered from the Elizabethan 
dramatists; e.g. in Northward Hoe, 'Old Jack Hornet,' says Doll, 'shall 
take upon him to be my father.' * Excellent I ' cries Leverpoole, * with 
a chain about his neck, and so forth.' * For that,' replies Doll, * Saint 
Martin's and we will talk.' And further on in the play we have the said 
Hornet exclaiming : ' Sfoot, nothing moves my choler, but that my chain is 
copper. But 'tis no matter ; better men than old Jack Hornet have rode up 
Holborn with as bad a thing about their necks as this. Your right whiffler 
indeed hangs himself [i. e. provides himself with a chain to hang on his neck] 
in Saint Martin's [where the cheap * Sham ' things were sold] and not in 
Cheapside ' (where, at the western end on the southern side, the best gold- 
smiths carried on business). 

7. St. Hugh remains to be considered; and what I have to remark is, 
that a St. Hugh was in some way associated with shoemakers ; that he in 
some way was their patron along with the well-known Saints Crispin and 
Crispian. Evidence of this fact is furnished by Dekker in his Shoemakers' 
Holiday, or the Gentle Craft, with the humorous hfe of Simon Eyre, Shoe- 
maker and Lord Mayor of London. Thus, when Eyre introduces his fellow- 
craftsmen to the king, and his Majesty asks, * My mad Lord Mayor, are 
all these Shoemakers ? ' ' my mad Lord Mayor ' makes answer : ' All Shoe- 



ADDITIONAL NOTE. ' 1 55 

makers, my liege, all gentlemen of the Gentle Craft, true Trojans, courageous 
Cordwainers. They all kneel to the shrine of holy Saint Hugh.* Elsewhere 
in this play 'Saint Hugh's bones' are mentioned as part of a cobbler's furni- 
ture — as being amongst the implements of his trade. ' Hark you. Shoe- 
maker,' says Firke to Lacy, who wants a job, * have you all your tools : 
a good dressing-pin, a good stopper, a good dresser, your four sorts of awls, 
and your two balls of wax, your paring knife, your hand- and thumb-leathers, 
and good Saint Hugh's bones to smooth up your work ? * In Hone's Every 
Day Book, vol. i, p. 69S, the chapter on St. Crispin and St. Crispian has for 
its motto a quotation from 'St. Hugh's Song,' viz. — 

'Our shoes were sow'd with merry notes. 
And our mirth expell'd all moan ; 
Like nightingales, from whose sweet throats 
Most pleasant tunes are nightly blown. 
The Gentle Craft is fittest then 
For poor distressed gentlemen.' 

What could be the origin of this phrase? The only mention of a shoe- 
maker in connexion with one of the three famous saints of the name 
that I have noticed occurs in the Magna Vita S. Hugonis Episcopi 
Lincolniensis. The great Carthusian died in London, at his house on the 
site of the Old Temple in what is now Chancery Lane, ' secus Londinias 
apud vetus Templum'; but his body was carried down to Lincoln to 
be buried, to that * templum gloriosissimum ' of which he had himself 
begun the re-building ; and in the towns through which it passed, it was 
received with the utmost reverence and devotion. At one of these, at 
Stamford, a certain cobbler distinguished himself by the ardour of his 
worship. He is described as ' vir innocentis vitae bonisque per onmia 
studiis deditus, arte sutoria sibi suaeque familiolae victum quaeritans.^ 
When he saw some way off the bier of that most precious clay (' gleba* 
preciosissimae '), and could not get near it, so dense was the crowd, he was 
heard praying aloud that Heaven would permit him to kiss the fringe of the 
pall or place his most unworthy head under those sacred remains, and then 
let him die (' et sic de hujus niundi colluvione animam me.im tolle '). And 
at last his fervent wish was granted, and he thanked God for h.-iving so pitied 
him, and prayed again that that night he might share the eternal rest 
enjoyed by the soul whose now deserted body he had been privileged to 
approach. His prayer was answered. That selfsame night he passed away 
in peace (' In extremis positus, praemissa confessione percepta absolutione 
testamentoque legitime confecto, mox ut } crcepit, spiritum in pace emisit '). 
This story must have been well known in the Middle Ages, and may have 
tended to associate St. Hugh with the shoemaking trade. But it is possible 
already in some way Bishop Hugh was associated with cordwainers, and that 
the passionate zeal of the Stamford cobbler was inflamed by a knowledge of 
this association, and that he regarded him as a recognized friend and patron 
of his craft, in whose company he would fain travel straight into Paradise. 



156 ADDITIONAL NOTE. 

Most probably, however, if not quite certainly, the St. Hugh referred to 
is not one of the three well-known saints of the name, but yet another — 
a Welshman by birth, of comparatively little fame. His story is told in 
Campian's Pleasant and Entertaining History of St. Hugh with a particular 
account of his constant love to the handsome virgin Winifred, 2nd ed. 1876, 
to which I have heartily to thank Dr. Sharpe of the Town Clerk's office, 
Guildhall, London, for having called my attention. This St. Hugh, we are 
informed, was the son of a King of Powys, and fondly loved Winifred the 
daughter of Donwallo, King of Tegina, Flintshire. His suit rejected, he 
travelled abroad, and returning, for reasons best known to himself took up 
with a shoemaker at Harwich. Then broke out the Diocletian persecution, 
and amongst its victims were both the disguised cobbler and the lady of his 
affection. Just before his death, he bequeathed his bones to the craft to 
which he had apprenticed himself, having nothing else to bequeath them. 
And the legacy was turned to good account by his fellow-craftsmen : 
• My friends, I pray you listen to me 

And mark what St. Hugh's bones shall be: 

First a drawer, and a dresser, 

Two wedges, a more and a lesser, 

A pretty block three inches high, 

In fashion squared like a die,' &c. 
7. One point remains unexplained, viz. Milton's speaking of ' the hallowed 
limits ' of St. Hugh. As we have stated (see p. 131), there was never a church 
in London dedicated to any St. Hugh. The original region or neighbour- 
hood of the shoemakers was the Cordwainers' Ward (see Stow's Survey) ; 
and it may be presumed that this is the part of London in Milton's mind. 
But to speak of it as 'the hallowed limits' of St. Hugh seems a carelessness 
of expression arising from a wish to make the allusion to the shoemakers 
uniform with those to the clothiers and the trinket-sellers. 

PS. — H. H., to whom this volume and I are indebted for many invaluable 
services, has kindly called my attention to a most pertinent passage in a poem 
relating to the arrival of King George I, quoted in part by Hogg, in the 
first volume of his Jacobite Relics of Scotland : 

' Next to the knight there rode a true- 

Blue cobbling Protestant, St. Hugh, 

So called because that saint is made 

The leathern patron of his trade. 

Whose wooden bones he worships more 

Than God, his church, or sovereign power, 

Or any thing, except his glorious 

Triumphant idol so victorious, 

Ador'd by all the gentle craft 

That work in garret up aloft, 

As well as cobbling sots that breathe 

His praises out in stalls beneath.* 



INDEX OF PROPER NAMES. 



Adam. iS, 25. 


Delf, 20. 


Aegyptians, 14. 


Dioclesian, 14. 


Ahab, 53. 


Diogenes, S, 


Andromache, 8. 


Dioti Prusaeus, 4. 


Angelo, St., 35, 


Dionysius, 7. 


Apollinarius, 14. 


Dionysius Alexaivlri- 


Aquinas, 18. 


nus, 15. 


Arcadia, 24. 


Dominican, 35. 


Archilochus, 8. 


Dorick, 24. 


Areopagus, 7. 




Arezzo, 20. 




1 Aristophanes, 23. 
Aristotle, 21. 


England, 3. 
Epicurus, 7. 


Arminius, 20. 


Epiphanius, 19. 


Athens, 4. 6. 
Augustus, 8. 


Epirots, 47. 


Euripides, 8. 
Etisebius, 15. 


Bacon, 32, 38. 


Eustochium, 15. 


* Basil, 15. 




Belcastro, II. 


Flaccus, 9. 


Bethany, 39. 


Florence, il. 


Brook, Lord, 51. 


Franciscan, 35. 


Caldeans, 14. 


Galileo, 35. 


Calvin, 45. 


Geneva, 52. 


Canada, 20. 


Gentiles, 10. 


Carneades, 8, 


Greece, 3, 6, 7. 
Gothes, 3. 


Carthaginian Couiicel, 


10. 


Guion, 18. 


Cataio, •20. 




Cato, 8. 
Catullus, 9. 
Chrysostom, 7. 
Cicero, 9. 


Hannibal, 48. 
Harry 71!.. 55. 
Harry 8th, 20. 
Hellenick, 14. 
Hercules, 40. 
Homer, 7. 


Cini, 11. 

Clement of Alexandria, 


Crefet, 7. 
Critolaus, 8. 

Cyiiick, 7. 


Hugh, St., 41. 
Huiinish, 3. 
Husse, 10. 


Cyrene, 7. 


Jerusalem, 39. 


D' Amelia, 11. 


Ionia, 7. 
Irenaeus, 19, 
Isaiah, 20. 


Daniel, 14. 


Davanzati, 11. 


Isis, 43. 


Decius, 14. 


Italy, 8. 



Janus, 51. 

Jerome, T4, 19. 

Jesuits, 20. 

John (the Evangelist), 

56. 
Joshua, 56. 

Julian the Apostat, 14. 
Julius Agricola, 45. 
Juno, 12. 
Jutlanders, 3. 

Knox, 33. 

Lacedaemon, 8. 
Lambeth, 12, 
Leo X, 10. 
Loretto, 39. 
Lucilius, 9. 
Lucretius, 9. 
Lullins, 13. 
Luther, 45. 
Lycurgus, 7. 

Margites, 15, 
Martin the 5ih, 10. 
Martin, St., 41. 
Memmius, 9. 
Menander, 8. 
Micaiah, 53. 
Minorites, 13. 
Monte Mayor. 24. 
Moses, 14, 56. 

Naevius, 8. 
Naso, 9. 

Octavius Caesar, 9. 
Osiris, 43. 

Paolo Padre, 10. 
Paul's, 12. 
Paul, 14, 17. 
Persian, 44. 
Petronius, 20. 
Philemon, 8. 



158 



GENERAL INDEX. 



Philistines, 33. 
Plato, 7. 
Plautus, 8. 
Ponipey, 9. 
Porphyrius, g. 
Proclus, 9. 
Protagoras, 6. 
Psyche, 17. 
Pyrrhus, 47. 
Pythagoras, 44. 

Rabatta, il. 
Radamanth, 13 
Rhodians, 4. 



Rodolph, II. 
Rome, 10. 
Russia, 45. 

Sabin, 8. 
Salomon, 17, 
Scipio, 8. 
Scotus, 18. 
Selden, 16. 
Sicilians, 36. 
Socrates, 14. 
Sophron, 23. 
Spartan, 7. 
Spenser, 18. 



Thales, 7. 
Thomas, St., 41. 
Titus Livius, 9. 
Transylvanian, 45, 
Trent, lo. 
Turk, 43. 
Typhon, 43. 

Verres, 36. 

Westminster, 55, 
Wicklef, 10, 45. 

Zuinglius, 44. 



GENERAL INDEX. 



Accuratest, 31. 
After, 8. 
Alchymy, 13^ 
Almost, 6. 
Ancestors, 12. 
Ancienter, 15. 
Anough, 9, 48. 
Answerable, 15. 
Antiphonies, I 2. 
Apothegms, 7. 
Arrant, 39. 
Art, 33. 
Artificial, 25. 
Athwart, 1 1, 
Attend, 5. 
Autority, 9. 

Bablers, 8. 
Bachelor, 37. 
Bagpipe, 24. 
Baited down, 38. 
Balcone's, 24. 
Ballatry, 24. 
Ballats, 8. 
Battell, 52. 
Bayl, 31. 
Beacon'd up, 44. 
Bear up with, 39. 
Birth, 12. 
Blindfold, 27. 
Breviaries, 41. 
Brigade, 48. 



Broke prison, 11. 
Brooking, 3. 
Brother, 5. 
Bull, 10. 

Burgomasters, 2 2. 
Bushel, 49. 

Cannonicall, 37. 
Canonized, 55. 
Carefull, 43. 
Catcht, 6. 
Catena, 40. 
Cautelous, 21. 
Censure, I. 
Charge, 41. 
Chop, 37. 
Cities, 4, 
Civill, 3, 44. 
Clung, 56. 
Colours, 58. 
Combust, 43. 
Commendatory, 39. 
Commodity, 33. 
Complementing, 12. 
Complexion, 38. 
Conceit, 35. 
Concoction, 16. 
Concordance, 40. 
Condiscend, 28. 
Conduct, 50. 
Confuting, 51. 
Considerat, 3I. 



Contrive, 22. 
Conventicle, 37. 
Conversant, 15. 
Conversation, 24. 
Conversing, 8. 
Cote, 50. 
Coulter, 33. 
Courtship, 2. 
Covenants, 37, 
Crave, 29. 
Creeks, 42. 
Criticisms, 20. 
Cropping, 5. 

Damnify' d, 27. 
Dares, 31. 
Dasht, 29, 
Decaying, 50. 
Decrepit, 32. 
Defiance, 48. 
Demeanour, 17. 
Derogated, 4. 
Despair, 47. 
Dictatorio, 12. 
Diligentest, 31, 
Ding, 32. 
Dioces, 37. 
Discipline, 52. 
Disconformity, 51. 
Discontent, 30. 
Discours, 22, 44, 
Discover, 19, 



GENERAL INDEX. 



159 



Disexercising, 5. 
Disparagement, 34. 
Distinct, 20. 
Dividuall, 39. 
Divulged, 27. 
Doctor, 31. 
Dram, 26. 
Ducking, I a. 
Dunce, 33. 

Economicall, 44. 
Edifie, 55. 
Elenchs, 58. 
'Em, 40. 
Enchiridion, 35. 
Encroachment, 10. 
Enhaunces, 38. 
Equall, 3. 
Exorcism, li. 
Exquisite, 16. 
Extended, 47. 

Fabrict, 53. 
Faction, 9. 
Fain, 14. 
Fansied, 10. 
Fantastic, 46. 
Feature, 43. 
Fell upon, 23. 
Fend, 41. 
Ferular, 30. 
Fescu, 30. 
Fift essence, 6. 
Firmament, 43. 
Fist, 32. 
Flourishes. 35. 
Foreine, 20. 
Forgotten, 36, 
Formost, I, 12. 
Frustrate. 27. 
Furder, 10. 
Fustian, 35. 

Gabble, 49. 
Gadding. 41. 
Gammuth, 24. 
Garb, 24. 
Garland, 18. 
Gear, 41. 
Ghitarrs, 24. 
Glutton, II. 



Forg 



Gluttony, 24. 
Grammercy, 25. 

Hand, 28. 
Harmony, 40. 
Hears ill, 24. 
Her, 44. 
Hereticks, 9. 
Hidebound, 33. 
His, 5. 
Homily, 5. 

Ilfavourcdiy, 13. 
Impaled, 41. 
Ingrossers, 49. 
Ink, to cast, 12, 
Inquisiturient, 13. 
Innovator, 45. 
Inrodes, 48. 
Interlinearies, 41. 
Invention, 33. 

Jaunt, 31. 
Jealous, 34. 
Journey-work, 28. 

Keri, 19. 
Knaw, 33. 
Knowing, 33. 

Laick, 35. 
Law keepers, 23. 
Lay by, 10. 
Lectures, 24. 
Lett, 57. 
Libertine, 7. 
Licence, 6. 
Lifeblood. 6. 
Light on, 13. 
Likely, 1. 
Limbo's, 13. 
Loiterine. 41. 

Madrigalls, 24. 
Malignant, 50. 
Malmsey, 39. 
Manage, 56. 
Maniples, 48. 
Manners, 1 1. 
Mansion-house, 45. 
Matrimonial, 5. 



Methinks, 49. 
Monopolizers, 58. 
Motions, 25. 
Mov'd it, 8. 
Muing, 49. 
Municipal, 24. 
Muselesse, 7. 
Mysteries, 39. 

Naughty, 16. 
Never so, 32. 
Nicely, 19. 
Noise, 49. 
Novice, 37. 

Obsequies, 43. 
Obtain, 4. 
Odds, 14. 
Of, 46. 
Offence, 15. 
Officials, 27. 
Omer, 17, 
Opinion, 46. 

Painful, 5. 
Passing, 10. 
Patriarchal, 33, 
Pedantick, 33. 
Perfected, 10. 
Perfunctory, 33, 
Permitted, 20, 
Perswades, 4. 
Pertest, 49. 
Perverted, ao. 
Piatza, \2. 
Piddling, 39. 
Pittance, 25. 
Plates, 46. 
Pluralities, 29. 
Polite, 3. 
Politics, 25. 
Pound, 21. 
Poundage, 40. 
Prattle, 24. 
Prevent, 22. 
Professors, 39. 
Propending, 45. 
Prospect, 42. 
Prove, 15. 
Provoking, 35, 
Publicans, 40. 



i6o 



GENERAL INDEX. 



Punie, 31. 
Purchast, 50. 
Purgatory, 10. 

Quadragesimal, 5. 
Qualifie, 22. 
Quell, 7. 
Quick, 7. 

Rebbeck, 24, 
Regiment, 48. 
Relation, li. 
Remember, 38. 
Repasting, 16. 
Resembling of, 8. 
Resented, 33. 
Responsories, I a. 
Ribald, 20. 
Ridd, 29. 
Ript up, 12. 
Roundels, 8. 

Salary, 29. 
Scanting, 26. 
Scapt, 30. 
Scout, 19. 
Scurrill, 15. 
Searching, 44. 
Seised, 15. 
Sensible, 29. 
Sentences, the, 14. 
Sequester 25. 
Sermoning, 41. 
Settle, 42. 



Severall, 58. 
Shifts, 14. 
Shrewd, 24. 
Siniories, 4. 
Skill, to, 39. 
Sol-fa, 40. 
Sort, 18. 
Spill, 6. 

Spunge, the, 12. 
Stanch, 40. 
Standards, 33. 
Standing to, 30. 
Starch, 40. 
Stark, 44. 
States, I. 
Stationer, 32. 
Statist, 3. 
Statutes, 33. 
Sta/d, 45. 
Step-dame, 38. 
Stop, 42. 
Story, 9, 28. 
Sublimat, 13. 
Success, I. 
Surlinesse, 7. 
Synopses, 41. 

Tasted, 56. 
Testy, 56. 
The, (thd), 6. 
Theam, 30. 
Then, i. 
Tickets, 33. 
To, 23, 38. 



Topic, 40. 
To see to, 52. 
Trash, 23, 
Tunnage, 40. 

Uncorruptednesse, 21. 
Unequal!, 50. 
Unfrocking, 43. 
Unthrift, 29. 
Unwillingest, 2. 
Uses, 38. 
Utter, 50. 
Utter to, 30. 

Ventrous, 32. 
Viands, 16. 
Vicar, li, 
Violl, 5. 
Visitors, 24. 
Voided, 38. 
Vote, 51. 

Waking, 41. 
Want, 22. 
Wanting, i. 
Watchings, 31, 
What, 40. 
Whenas, 30, 
Wont, 15. 

Ye, 3. 
Yet. 3. 



THE END. 



PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS, OXFORD 
BY JOHN JOHNSON, PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY 



Robarts Library 

DUE DATE: 

Jan. 8, 1993 




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